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Table of Contents 

Chapter Page 

Introduction ii 

The Authors hi 

I Historical, Geographical and Factual Background 1 

II Churches and Cemeteries 11 

III Schools 18 

IV Occupations and Professions 26 

V Development of Industry and Transportation 45 

VI Commercial Enterprises 59 

VII Events, Disasters and Anecdotes 68 

VIII Success Cases Among Our People 86 

IX Lodges, Organizations and Activities 95 

X Early Settlers More Fully Identified 105 

XI Afterthoughts and Supplemental Notes 119 


This history was prepared to provide an interesting and enlightening 
account of the early Beech Creek area and its development to the pre- 
sent day. In order to give as complete a story as possible census, assess- 
ment and legal records were searched, old newspapers were reviewed, 
and "old timers" were queried. To add to the attractiveness of this 
publication old pictures, particularly of large groups and interesting 
sights or objects, were sought. Despite all this effort it is realized that 
what appears on the following pages does not represent the total history 
of the area. This book, therefore, leaves a challenge to its readers to find 
and record some of the missing data. 

It is expected that even the most intense and thorough research has 
resulted in some erroneous data. Errors may have come not only from 
information gathered by personal interview, but also from data that 
had been incorrectly printed or recorded previously. Much difficulty 
was encountered in trying to obtain maiden names of early wives, and, 
in many cases, especially in the very early days, the given names of 
many of the women have not been established. On several occasions 
newspaper publicity revealed that this undertaking was in progress and 
information, such as may be found in attics, old Bibles, or merely 
stored in peoples' minds, was being solicited. Unfortunately responses 
to these appeals were not very gratifying. 

To better identify persons, particularly those of previous generations, 
who are singled out for one reason or another, the names of parents, or 
spouses, or sometimes descendants, were included, when available, to 
aid the reader. Such identification was included in only one reference 
to the same individual, usually the first. 

This project was not undertaken for a profit. The cost per copy will 
be based on actual printing and distribution, with no reimbursement 
for the large expenses involved in years of research, mostly out of town. 

The Authors 

Harry A. Lingle was born at Beech Creek to Richard B. Lingle and 
Mabel H. (Brady) Lingle on April 25, 1912. As a boy growing up he en- 
joyed the tales of the "old timers" who congregated in the tobacco 
shops and similar places. He now regrets that he didn't make notes, es- 
pecially when they recounted early-day happenings. In his youth he 
joined his friends in such activities as swimming, boating, scouting, 
camping, baseball, and later, hunting. Meantime he became the best 
stilt-walker and pole-vaulter in town and one of the better ice skaters. 
His high stilts required mounting from the front porch roof. Using a 
sawed-off pike pole for vaulting he could clear the bar around the 
eleven-foot mark. He recalls jumping from the top of the Beech Creek 
bridge into the water below, and standing on his head on top of the 
same bridge. 

In 1928 Mr. Lingle completed the courses offered in the local high 
school, and in 1930 graduated from Lock Haven High School. Four 
years later he completed training for elementary teaching at Lock 
Haven State College, where he was a member of the varsity baseball 
team. Shortly thereafter he began a six -year tenure as grammar school 
teacher and principal at Orviston in Centre County. During these latter 
years, and for many years to follow, he played baseball in both the 
Central and Centre County leagues. While still a college student Mr. 
Lingle married Vera A. Thompson, a daughter of David H. and Bessie 
Mae (Leathers) Thompson. At the end of 1969 he closed out a career at 
the Lock Haven office of the Bureau of Employment Security, where he 
had served as interviewer, assistant manager and interim manager. 

Vera A. (Thompson) Lingle was born in Liberty Township on Oc- 
tober 12, 1912. Five years later her family moved to the Bower farm, 
just east of Mt. Eagle. Incidentally, her husband's great grandmother, 
Mary (Leathers) Bitner, was bom in 1815 at this same farm, in the 
original living quarters, a log house, that was left standing over the 
years and used for storage, until the Sayers dam was built. Vera 
graduated from Howard High School in 1929, took a one-year post 

graduate course at Bellefonte High School, and completed commercial 
training at Altoona School of Commerce in 1982. At the time of her 
marriage she was employed by the State Emergency Relief Board at 
Philipsburg, having been transferred there from State College. Even as 
a young girl she was an avid reader, usually carrying a book with her 
when she was assigned to watching the cows at pasture. She is accused, 
even to this day, of becoming so involved in her reading that she oc- 

The authors. 

casionally allowed the cows to wander too far. She offers no denials. 

In 1954, when heart surgery was still in the very early stages of 
development, Vera, wisely, and rather courageously, accepted the sug- 
gestion of her doctor and neighbor, Robert E. Drewery, and placed 
herself in the hands of the pioneering heart surgeon, Charles Philmore 
Bailey. A hole, described by Dr. Bailey as "the size of a quarter, and a 
thirty-cent one, at that," between the upper chambers was successfully 
closed, and she is here today to help write the Beech Creek story. On 
March 25, 1957 Time Magazine told of the advances that had been 
made in heart surgery. Dr. Bailey's picture was on the front cover. 

Knowing that Harry's great grandmother Bitner, wife of Abraham, 
was born as Mary Leathers, and that Vera's mother was also a 
Leathers, the Lingles set out in 1971 to determine if any relationship 
existed. They soon learned that they were fourth cousins, each having 
the same great, great, great grandparents, Jacob (Sr.) and Mary 
(Shirk) Leathers. Finding this type of research very fascinating, the 
two Lingles, in partnership, so to speak, were soon doing more and 
more family tracings. In 1975, with a deadline for completion only four 
months in the future, the Lingles accepted the task of writing, without 
reimbursement, the history for the Bicentennial book of neighboring 
Liberty Township. The rapid sale of 700 copies, and the many favorable 
compliments received, encouraged the Lingles to prepare a story of the 
Beech Creek area. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lingle are the parents of these four children: Zoe Ann 
(Stine), who teaches in Los Angeles, California, and has four children; 
Barry, a regional representative for Mobil Oil Corporation, with head- 
quarters in Los Angeles, has twin daughters; Frederick, district at- 
torney of Clinton County, has one son; and David, a teacher in the Wil- 
liamsport schools has three children. 

Mr, Lingle's ancestors include Snyders, Kuneses, Berryhills, Bitners, 
Nestlerodes, and Housers. Mrs. Lingle's lines include McCloskeys, 
Oylers, Bryans, Foresmans, Piatts and Holters in addition to 
Thompsons. As indicated elsewhere their Leathers and Shirk ancestry 
is shared equally. Tracing back further in each of their family lines are 
found the names Martin, Marshall, Kaup, Homier, Spohn, Fagen, 
Gould, Bott, Dieffenderfer, Freeman, Hostrander and Failor. 

In the Bicentennial year of 1976 the Centre County Historical 
Society, in an appropriate ceremony, buried in a sealed vault a number 
of historical mementos. This vault, the location of which is identified 
by a bronze plaque in the sidewalk in Bellefonte's town square, is be- 
queathed to the county inhabitants of 2076 and is to be opened in that 
Tricentennial year. Included in the vault is a copy of the History of 
Liberty Township, mentioned heretofore. 

Chapter I 

Historical, Geographical and 
Factual Background 

On June 21, 1839 our county of Clinton was formed from parts of 
Centre and Lycoming Counties. In May, 1850 Bald Eagle Township, in 
this relatively new county, was divided by a line running northeasterly 
from about the middle of its southern border. The eastern section 
retained the Bald Eagle name. The western part was given the same 
name as the stream that flowed along its western edge and the town 
that was built along this stream — a name that had come down from 
the Delaware Indians — Beech Creek. However, the Indians did not use 
the words beech and creek. Their term was "Schauweminsch-Hanne," 
which meant beech stream. 

Histories of the Indians reveal that one branch of the Great 
Shamokin Path of the early tribes left the Susquehanna River at Great 
Island, below Lock Haven, and followed Bald Eagle Creek to Beech 
Creek, where it was again divided. The Bald Eagle Path continued up 
the valley, turned south, crossed the creek near Milesburg and passed 
through the gap. It then followed a generally westward direction 
through Warriors Mark, Tyrone and Hollidaysburg. The other branch 
turned up Marsh Creek, went through Romola and Yarnell, then 
ascended the mountains to reach the Clearfield area and eventually 

The name "Beech Creek" had been applied before 1807 to the settle- 
ment that was developing about one mile upstream from the mouth of 
the fast-flowing, crystal-clear creek, with the beech trees along its 
banks. Bald Eagle Township assessment records, prepared in late 1807 
for the year 1808, indicate that certain of its taxable property was at 
"Beech Creek." This should clear the misconception that there was no 
Beech Creek until our post office was changed to that name from 
Quigley's Mills. One book, A Picture of Clinton County, published in 
1942 as a Federal WPA project sponsored by our county commissioners, 
goes so far as to declare that our town was not named Beech Creek until 
the borough was incorporated in 1869. Incidentally, the information in 
this book becomes even less regarded when one finds the David 

Our grist mill was built around 1815. 

cemetery in Beech Creek Township listed as the Quay cemetery. 

During the past seventy-five years sole credit for the founding of 
Beech Creek town has somehow gone to Michael Quigley. The begin- 
ning event is given as the building of his grist mill in 1812. Official 
records show that Mr. Quigley came here in 1814, the year in which the 
mill project was begun. In November of that year he was assessed for 
the ownership of one horse and two cows. By this time our town already 
had a number of full-time tradesmen and shops. We had at least one 
weaver, one shoemaker, one cooper, one distiller, one carpenter, two 
tanners and two sawmills. In the grist mill enterprise Mr. Quigley was 
one of a partnership of McFadden and Quigley. However, he later 
purchased Mr. McFadden's interest. For the year 1816 the mill, 
situated on a 27-acre tract, was first assessed for tax purposes. 

When Beech Creek gained a post office in 1828 Michael Quigley 
became postmaster. Apparently having the option of identifying the 
new post office, he called it Quigleys Mills. However, the town was still 
Beech Creek. Letters written from here to Ohio in the 1830's are being 
preserved by the authors of this story. Even though the return ad- 
dresses on the outside of the envelopes show Quigleys Mills, the letters, 
themselves, list Beech Creek, Centre County in the heading. After Mr. 
Quigley's retirement in 1839 our post office was closed and Beech Creek 
patrons received their mail through the post office at Eagleville, now 
Blanchard. However, in 1846 we regained a post office and it very ap- 

propriately was given the same name as the town. Even if Mr. Quigley 
cannot be credited as founder of our town, it must be remembered that 
the grist mill went a long way in making the town a trading center for a 
very large area. 

On February 13, 1800 Centre County had been formed from parts of 
Huntingdon, Mifflin, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties. At 
that time this new county included Bald Eagle Township, which then 
extended from Beech Creek stream to the edge of Flemington, with the 
Susquehanna River forming a portion of its northeastern boundary. 
Bald Eagle Township then included that part of Nittany Valley that 
was removed in 1817 to form Lamar Township. Lamar Township was 
later divided to form Porter Township. When the second National 
Census was taken in 1800 our township of Bald Eagle was listed as if it 
still was a part of Lycoming County. At that time, even though we were 
very large geographically, we had only 103 family units with a total 
population of 698, including one black person. A very small number 
then lived in our Beech Creek area. 

As late as 1785 our township of Bald Eagle, then a vast, 
predominantly wilderness area extending from Lycoming Creek 
(Newberry area of Williamsport) westward to Moshannon Creek, was a 
part of Northumberland County, which had been formed on March 21, 
1772, with Sunbury as its seat. In 1786 the part of our township that lay 
west of Beech Creek was separated and named Upper Bald Eagle 
Township. The original Bald Eagle Township was then further reduced 
to the area between the mouth of Bald Eagle Creek and Beech Creek 

The old post office with Stella and Chrissie Linn in the doorway. 


A main street scene during World War I. 

stream and was generally known as Lower Bald Eagle Township. When 
Mifflin County was created on September 8, 1789, with Lewistown as 
the seat, Upper Bald Eagle Township became a part of that new 
county. Lower Bald Eagle Township, our area, remained in 
Northumberland County until April 13, 1796, when we became a part 
of newly-formed Lycoming County. Thus, we learn that we were a part 
of Lycoming County for a period of less than four years. 

Back in the days when Pennsylvania was divided into just three 
mammoth counties we were a part of Chester County. On March 11, 
1752 a large part of Chester County, including our area, was removed to 
form Berks County, in which we remained until Northumberland 
County was erected. 

The year 1787 marks the first permanent settlement in our area, 
when members of the Hays family took up residence. Their land, a 
grant for military service in the Revolution, was adjacent to the mouth 
of Beech Creek stream. Within a year the Fearons were occupying land 
just east of the Hays tract. It is quite possible that there was a 
relationship between the first Hays and Fearon families. Our earliest 
settlers, and those who followed, will be more fully discussed in a sub- 
sequent chapter devoted to this subject. 

Our valley, which extends from the Tyrone area eastward to the Sus- 
quehanna River, and the mountain range that walls us in on the south 
were named for Indian Chief Bald Eagle, whose nest was located in a 
narrow gap about twelve miles west of us. The mountain itself, along 
which flows Bald Eagle Creek, was once known as Muncy Mountain. 
Traveling northward in our area from Bald Eagle and Beech Creek 

streams one passes from fairly level, rich bottom land through rolling 
hills, most of which are used for farming or pasture land. The traveler 
soon reaches the mountainous area of the Allegheny Plateaus. This rug- 
ged terrain, once wealthy in virgin timber and minerals, was responsi- 
ble for much of our early development and industrial growth. In addi- 
tion, its freshwater streams and deep, thickly-vegetated ravines have 
provided good fishing and perhaps the best hunting ground in the com- 
monwealth. The southern portion of our township is drained principal- 
ly by Canoe, Sugar and Masden Runs. Our northern mountainous area 
is drained by Big Run, Monument Run and Twin Run, which flow into 
Beech Creek stream, and Tangascootac Creek, which empties directly 
into the Susquehanna. 

The chief sources of county taxes in the early 1800's were land, horses 
and cows. No mention was made of buildings except those used for in- 
dustrial purposes, such as sawmills and tanyards. Perhaps the local 
taxing authorities were allowed to collect on houses, bams, etc. Almost 
every family owned at least one horse and one cow, but few families 
owned more than two horses or two cows. Single men who worked, but 
did not own taxable property, were taxed by the county for their oc- 
cupations. Additional items taxed at various times included gold 
watches, money-at-interest, and collateral inheritances. Our 
township's assessor for its first taxable year (1801) in the new county of 
Centre was James Boyd (Sr.), a Revolutionary War veteran. 

For the annual assessment of 1828 each city, borough and township 
assessor was authorized by the Commonwealth to report each destitute 
family not already in possession of a Bible, and to indicate the language 

Main street in 1918 with the "Seven Kitchens" in background. 

This bridge, just south of the present borough line, was one of three 
wooden bridges that joined us to Liberty Township. 

spoken by each. In what was described as a "Benevolent undertaking" 
the Philadelphia Bible Society provided a free copy of the "Holy Scrip- 
tures" to each such family. Recipients in our township, according to the 
report of our assessor, John F. McCormick, were the families of William 
DeHaas, Benjamin Johnston, John Lannen and James Miller, all of 
whom spoke the English language. A copy of one of these Bibles, if 
preserved to this day, should have exceptional value. 

In 1830, our assessor, John Montgomery, had to place each parcel of 
land in one of twelve categories, according to its relative value. The 
largest plot had three hundred acres and was leased by the owner, 
Henrietta Craig, a daughter of Brig. General John Philip and Eleanor 
(Bingham) DeHaas. This farm was placed in category four with a value 
of eleven dollars an acre, or a total of $3300. The county tax amounting 
to $10.54 was paid by the then lessor, Paul Lingle, who had come from 
Linglestown in Dauphin County and replaced David Courter on this 
tract. The next lessor was George Haagen, who later became the owner. 
Land in category one was valued at seventeen dollars an acre, while 
that placed in category twelve had a value of only twelve cents per acre. 
Trades and occupations were classified by four categories, ranging from 
$50 to $300 of annual income. Doctors, of course, earned more, but not 
much more. Each was placed in one of three divisions, ranging from 
$300 to $500 in annual income. 
When Beech Creek Township was organized in 1850 the two super- 

visors were Joseph Linn, son of Andrew and Martha (Polk) Linn and 
Thomas Crispen, who, after the death of his first wife, Hannah, and in 
advanced years of age, remarried and had several more children. The 
first justices of the peace were Thomas Packer, son of Eli and Ann F. 
(Thomas) Packer, and Andrew White, whose wife, Eliza, was a 
daughter of Michael and Mary (Clark) Quigley. Other officers were: 
Cline Quigley, a son of Michael; John McGhee, a son of John and 
Elizabeth (Linn) McGhee; Giles W. Halenbake, son of Henry Halen- 
bake of New York state, and husband of Frances Johnson, the daughter 
of Nathaniel and Sarah (Willis) Johnson, natives of England; Austin 
Leonard, a son of Theodore and Elizabeth Leonard of Massachusetts, 
who married, first, Julia Ann, a daughter of Moses and Hannah 
(Packer) Packer, and later Anna Eliza (Knepley) Packer, the widow of 
Vickers Packer and the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca (Courter) 
Knepley; Joseph M. Smith, a son of Roland and Mary Smith of the 
Philadelphia area; Abraham Bitner, son of John and Susanna 
(Nestlerode) Bitner; William Masden, son of Justus and Elizabeth 


This house, built in 
1800 and crumbling for 
the past eighty years, 
is still in evidence on 

the Bossett farm. 

Lower Water Street under flood 



Bald Eagle Township W me hefore movln 8 l"to 

town lots to fa. ^S^S7£Sa2 , ft , 1 2j 

- JSKf i^^^^^j^ "Beech Creek 
we. a, follow,: Aahe, Pache, a son of lE^^^SES 

of Nancy Hall, the daughter of Jesse Hall, born in New Jersey, and his 
wife, Betty (Johnson) Hall, a native of England; George Furst, who had 
come from lower Nittany Valley at about the time of his marriage to 
Elizabeth Stewart, a Quigley descendant; A.H. Knecht, who had come 
from Easton as a business partner of George D. Hess; John Ligget, a son 
of John and Susanna (Neff) Ligget; and Charles R. Keyes (pronounced 
Kise), a son of Stillman and Eliza (Strong) Keyes, who had come from 
New York state. Other borough officers at that time were: George 
Wensel, the son of Everett and Catharine (Rhumsbutt) Wensel, both 
natives of Germany, and the husband of Ellen Eliza (Quigley) Wensel, 
a daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Moore) Quigley; Hugh White, 
whose daughter, Martha, became the second wife of Civil War captain, 
James A Quigley; George Q. Williams, a son of George and Susan 
(Quiggle) Williams and husband of Elizabeth Bollinger; Harrison Mil- 
ler, who had come from Lehigh County and married Sara Amanda, the 
daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (James) Linn; John Mason, whose 
wife, Martha, was a sister of Sara Amanda Linn; Solomon Strong, the 
developer and entrepreneur; John McGhee, identified previously; and 
John W. Grays, who died seven years later at age 39. 

In 1875 Mr. Strong laid out the eastern portion of the borough in 
town lots. His land was surveyed and mapped by James Clark, and in- 
cluded that which was shortly thereafter conveyed to the original 
developers of the Beech Creek Railroad. Mr. Strong's layout maps are 
currently in the possession of the authors of this story. Many years 
earlier the section of town between Water and western Harrison Streets 

ri™**5. t^_ 


lta^t\|i\.'\.OcvCiit& ?» 

Taken from Clarks Hill, north of town. 


was laid out and named "Florence," likely for the wife or a daughter of 
the developer. Florence was used on deeds, etc, to better identify loca- 
tions. For example, an 1848 obituary said that William Williams of 
Beech Creek died at Florence. His widow, Ann (Lingle) Williams, lived 
until her death in 1897 in the house on Water Street now occupied by 
the Heimer family. It is quite understandable that because of the 
likeness of names our Florence area is sometimes confused with the 
Floral area. Floral was the official name of the post office that served 
the Laurel Run area until rural delivery was inaugurated there in 1909. 
Of the township and borough officers named in this chapter, seven 
were local postmasters and will be listed in a later chapter. In addition 
a high percentage were drawn from business and professional ranks and 
they had a keen interest in maintaining the community as a desirable 
place to live. For example, records show that in August, 1906 our coun- 
cilmen, Dr. H.H. Mothersbaugh, John P. Wynn, George F. Hess, W. 
Frank Berry, Edwin R. Reed, G.. Thomas Furst, Timothy McCarthy 
and W.A. Dugan, took definite action to force the removal of manure 
that was creating a stench on Locust Street. The guilty party was a 
local justice of the peace, which indicates that no favoritism was 
shown, not even to fellow borough officers. Would not a community- 
minded council such as theirs take action on some of today's problems, 
including noise and dust from various types of motor vehicles, un- 
licensed motorcycles, clogged streets, poor sidewalks, dogs running 
loose, the indifference of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 
toward local problems of their making, etc.? 



Chapter II 


In his book published in 1877- evangelist Nathan Johns Mitchell, 
organizer of Churches of Christ in Bald Eagle Valley and elsewhere, 
tells of responding to an invitation to come to Beech Creek for outdoor 
services in the summer of 1832. The meeting was held on Nestlerode 
Island, south of the grist mill, where seats and a pulpit were improvised 
by lumberman John Nestlerode, himself a member of the Mennonite 
faith. This particular meeting marked the beginning of the local 
Church of Christ and led to the eventual construction of the present 
church building in Blanchard, where a "Century With Christ" was 
celebrated in 1932. This building, built in 1867, was preceded by a 
wooden structure, likely of logs, on the opposite side of the street on a 
spot now occupied by part of the cemetery. The house of worship had 
remained at Beech Creek until 1848 or later. An obituary of that year 
listed the decedent as a member of the Disciple Church at Beech Creek. 

In May of 1837 preacher Mitchell became the first minister of any 
denomination to establish residence in Beech Creek. In April, 1839, 
shortly after the death of Mrs. Mitchell's mother, the family moved to 
Howard to occupy the Packer homestead, this being the birthplace of 
Mrs. Mitchell. While living in Beech Creek Mr. Mitchell taught school 
for one term. William M. Bauman, who" lives in the Lamar area, is a 
great, great grandson of Nathan J. Mitchell. By his own story, 
recounted with the aid of a well-kept diary, and published in 1877, Mr. 
Mitchell acknowledged that his congregation was preceded in Beech 
Creek by the Methodists. Therefore the Methodists were first organized 
some time before the summer of 1832 and not in 1833 as sometimes 
recorded. In 1834 the Methodists erected the first church building in 
the township. Their one-room, pine-log structure, located northwest of 
town, just outside the present borough limits, was later shared with the 
Presbyterians. Early Methodist circuit riders who preached in this 
building included Timothy Lee, Fern Brown, James Hunter, James 
Sanks, Switzer Paulsgrove, John Anderson, Abram Britten, J.S. Mc- 
Murray and Messrs. Gutwald, MacClay and Ball. 



Methodist Church. 

Presbyterian Church. 

In 1868 the Methodists constructed on Harrison Street a large two- 
story, brick edifice with bell tower and bell. The bricks were made by 
Mexican-born Francisco "Frank" Wallace at his kiln on Sugar Run, 
just north of town, not on the west side of Beech Creek stream as oc- 
casionally reported. This building has been used steadily to this day 
and gives promise of serving for many years to come. In 1926 a kitchen, 
with space beneath for central heating equipment, was added to the 
rear of the church. Since that time a number of interior improvements 
have been made including the installation in 1957 of a pipe organ, 
which, since that time, has been melodiously responding to the skillful 
hands' of organist, Joseph M. DeHaas, son of Morton and Chrissie 
(Linn) DeHaas. 

From 1873 to 1883 Beech Creek was headquarters for a Methodist 
charge that included Mill Hall, Flemington and Laurel Run. The par- 
sonage was located on Vesper Street across the street from the present 
school building. One of the occupants of the parsonage was Rev. 
Theodore S. Faus, who had married Martha Williams of Laurel Run, 
daughter of John and Mary (Hoy) Poorman Williams. At that time the 
trustees were John Ligget, Samuel Hall, William Trexler, Daniel Lose, 
J. D. Engles, Abner McCloskey and George W. Wensel. During the long 
period of its existence the present church building served for the follow- 
ing ministers, some of whom represented the Mill Hall charge, some 


the previously mentioned Beech Creek charge, but with most from the 
present Howard charge: 

Thomas F. McClure 
J. W. Buckley 
J. Foster Bell 
W.J. Owens 
John Z. Lloyd 
Elisha Butler 
Bruno Graham 
Charles Buck 
Theodore S. Faus 
Mortimer P. Crosthwaite 
Owen Hicks 
Elisha Shoemaker 
George E. King 
Nathan B. Smith 
J. W. Forrest 
A. P. Wharton 
G. F. Boggs 
Ellsworth M. Aller 
Rollin S. Taylor 
James E. Dunning 
C. W. Rishell 
Walter G. Steel 
M. S. Q. Mellott 
Arthur A. Price 
J. Franklin Smith 
John F. Winklebleck 
Raymond L. Morris 
Robert E. Fleck 
Wallace J. Cummings 
Roy A. Goss 
Foster L. Pannebaker 
Norman J. Simmons 
Elwood C. Zimmerman 
Francis J. Geiger 
Clair Switzer 
Jas. W. Nottingham 
Max B. Cook 
William B. Stan- 
Lawrence Focht 
Norman L. Handy 



As indicated previously the Presbyterians first used the Methodists' 
building. In 1865 the Presbyterians purchased a plot of land on Main 
Street and soon afterward began the construction of the Beech Creek 
Memorial Presbyterian Church. The first major improvement to the 
building was the addition of a belfry and bell in the early 1920's. During 
the latter part of the twenties a kitchen and dining room, with space 
beneath for a heating boiler, were added. The next major improvement 
was a new Hammond organ. Having been constructed almost 
simultaneously, this church, the Methodist Church and the Church of 
Christ at Blanchard are of very similar design. Then too, each of the 
various major improvements at these three churches were scheduled at 
nearly the same time. Since 1857 the pastors, usually shared with the 
sister church in Mill Hall, have been: 

H. S. Doolittle 
W. G. E. Agnew 
"George Warrington 
L. L. Houghawaut 
W. A. Jenks 
S. W. Pomeroy 
L. F. Brown 
William M. Grant 
A. D. Bateman 
Louis V. Barber 
Conrad Bluhm 
Lindley W. Cook 
John S. Lonsinger 
Carl C. Gray 
George A. Vir chick, Jr. 
Edward L. Junkin 
Timothy W. Held 
C. Robert Meyer 
Donald Visscher 




















In addition to the above the local congregation was also served by 
pastors Van Sickle, Bunsteen and Hawthorne. During the 1950's Rev. 
J. W. Dean served as supply minister. 

The Wesleyan Church, formerly the Pilgrim Holiness Church, is the 
newest of the community's congregations. Church services were held at 
various places, including private homes, public buildings and vacant 
houses until about the 1920's. At that time a dwelling on Maple Avenue 
was converted to serve as both a place of worship and a parsonage. In 
the early 1930's an attractive frame church facing Main Street was con- 


structed on church property, after which the former church building 
was reconverted to provide a full two-story parsonage building. The re- 
cent application of aluminum siding to the church building guarantees 
continued attractiveness and a minimum of maintenance. 

The following list is the best obtainable record of the ministers who 
served this congregation on a regular or temporary basis: Liden 
Adams, Floyd Baker, William C. Bloom, Ralph Davie, Robert Detmer, 
Philip Doyle, Mr. Gangaware, Russell Gardner, Philip Gazal, Norman 
L. Handy, Robert Heckert, Harley B. Hoffman, Mr. McCarthy, Edwin 
Mayes, William Merrill, Ronald Murphy, Mr. Philips, J. C. Sherwood, 
Fred Strawser, Harold Tallman, William Welch. 

Wesleyan Church. 


The question of which is our oldest cemetery has not been resolved. 
In contention for the distinction are two vastly different appearing 
burial grounds. One is the David Cemetery in Beech Creek Township 
on the hard-surfaced road leading northwesterly from Sugar Run. No 
burials have been made there for many, many years, and the plot has 
been allowed to descend to a deplorable state. It is overrun with trees 
and underbush to the extent that a passerby, only a few feet distant, is 
unable to see the markers. This is partly because most of them are lying 
on the ground. This cemetery was started by the pioneering David 
family, and without doubt contains the remains of Daniel David, the 


Revolutionary War soldier, Efforts to locate a newspaper story of some 
seventy years ago, in which the burials at this cemetery were listed, 
have not been successful, but will be continued. In addition to Davids 
and their descendants some of the Liggets are buried here. 

The other contender is the Hays-Fearon Cemetery, which, if not the 
oldest, does have the distinction of being our best-kept cemetery. It was 
started by the Hays and Fearon families, who had settled close by and 
began farming before 1800. This cemetery was also allowed to 
deteriorate for a number of years for the same reason that affected the 
David Cemetery. Too few of the kin of the early burials were living in 
the area. Fortunately, however, the thoughtfulness and diligence of J. 
Aaron Haugh, along with the assistance of others such as George F. 
Hess affected a restoration project that turned this plot from one of 
disgrace to one of beauty. Burials include Lt. James Hays, a 
Revolutionary soldier, his wife, Sarah (Brown) Hays, and other 
members of the early Hays and Fearon families, some of whose graves 
have no marker. Also buried here are two additional Revolutionary War 
soldiers, Lt. John Philip DeHaas and Gideon Smith. Of the marked 
graves at Hays-Fearon a total of twenty-two bear the name Rupert. 
Next in line is the family surname of Linn, followed by Gummo, 
DeHaas, Johnson, Hall and Ligget, in this order. Others are of eleven or 
fewer burials. . . 

The Clark Cemetery on the hill overlooking the town is halt in tne 
borough and half in the township. The borough-township boundary 
' crossing diagonally' from its southeast corner to its northwest corner, 
creates an invisible and generally unknown division of this plot into two 
triangular sections, one in each political subdivision. According to the 
best authority the land was donated by the Clark family at the time of 
the death of William Clark in 1851. His wife, Sarah (Hays) Clark, died 
two years later. For many years afterward all the lots were properly 
cared for. However, its condition is immensely different today. Some of 
the lots axe well cared for, while others are totally neglected. It has 
been widely suggested that the organization of an association would 
solve the problem. Perhaps these words may spur someone into action. 
Michael Quigley (1778-1858), who is frequently mentioned in this story, 
and his wife, Mary (Clark) Quigley (1792-1864) are buried here. The 
greatest number of marked graves is shared by the Linn and Mann 
families with fourteen each. Then come the names McCloskey, Mapes, 
Rupert, Clark, Cottle, Heverly, and Lindsey, with eight or more of 


Old newspaper accounts reveal that some time prior to 1920 an as- 
sociation had been formed to assure continued maintenance of the 
Clark Cemetery. During that year the following were serving as officers 


of the association: Charles E. "Dix" Bullock, the blacksmith; Joseph 
Shuttleworth, whose wife, Dora, was a niece of Mr. Bullock; Frank 
Mann, the son of Harvey and Clara (McCloskey) Mann, and the hus- 
band of Anna (Dickey) Mann; W. Quigley Clark, whose wife, Emma, 
was a daughter of James and Catharine (Rose) Gardner; Charles 
Lindsey, the son of Hezekiah and Mary (Bullock) Lindsey; and George 
Rupert, the son of Barnard and Elizabeth (Hannon) Rupert, and the 
husband of Ella (McCarthy) Rupert. It is currently reported that the 
mishandling of finances within the organization caused its disband- 
ment several years later. 

In late 1977, at the request of the rfuthors of this story, our county 
sponsored a government CETA. project to do clean-up work at the 
David Cemetery. This followed similar action at the Clark Cemetery, 
which had been requested by borough officials. The latter cemetery, it 
should be repeated, is half in the borough and half in the township. 
Brush cutting, as was performed at both places, is only a temporary 
improvement at best. For the long term both cemeteries need grubbing, 
leveling, sowing of grass seed and regular care. 

A very large number of Beech Creek area people are buried at the 
Blanchard Baptist Cemetery and the Blanchard Church of Christ 
Cemetery. This is mainly because the membership of these two 
churches has always included many of our residents. It should be 
pointed out that the burials at the small dilapidated Nestlerode 
Cemetery in Liberty Township represent ancestors of a wide percent- 
age of our Beech Creek area residents. 


Chapter III 


Early schools were of the one-room type, generally placed in locations 
convenient to the greatest number of pupils. The building was usually 
erected in the corner of a farmer's field, on a plot that had been donated 
or sold cheaply. If a deed was actually prepared it was seldom recorded, 
and was usually lost or misplaced over the years. This arrangement 
gave the particular farmer a number of advantages. His own children 
would have only a short distance to walk to school; he could board the 
teacher and the teacher could tutor his children. In addition, the school 
was given the name of the farmer, which provided some prestige, and, if 
ever closed, there was the possibility of the land, including the 
building, reverting to his ownership. 

The first school in the township was located just east of town. It was 
erected in 1810 on Fearon property and, in all likelihood, was called the 
Fear on school. It was this school where Buckham "Buck" Claflin 
taught for several years. He is best remembered as the father of Vic- 
toria (Claflin) Woodhull-Martin, a one-time candidate for president of 
the United States on the Women's Rights ticket. The second school was 
built about the year 1820 along Beech Creek stream, about one mile 
above the present borough limits. The third school, built about 1840, 
east of town on land of Robert Fearon, replaced the first school. The 
fourth school was built just above Beech Creek, and, in all probability 
replaced the second school. In 1882 Beech Creek Township had seven 
rural schools. They were: (1) Haagen, located on the main highway east 
of town; (2) Masden, on the Masden Hollow road, which leads from the 
same highway at a point farther east; (3) Bitner, farther north at the 
foot of the mountain; (4) Hubbard, on the road then leading mainly to 
Marsh Creek, now to Monument and Orviston; (5) Quay, on the hill 
directly north of Maidsville; (6) Sugar Run, on the Sugar Run road 
about a mile from town; and (7) Mountain, along the Bald Eagle Valley 
Railroad, on the mountain road leading to Mill Hall. 

The first school within the limits of what is now Beech Creek borough 
was built in 1856 on Main Street on land purchased from Austin 


Leonard. In 1867 a two-story, four-room school was erected on the 
northwest corner of Harrison and Fairview Streets. This school was 
replaced in 1904 by the large brick structure on Vesper Street and a 
two-year high school course was inaugurated, with the first graduates 
receiving their diplomas in 1909. The high school had been designed to 
serve students from both the borough and the township. In 1914 a 
three-year course was adopted, resulting in no graduations that year. 
As the years went by more and more local graduates enrolled 
elsewhere, at their own expense for transportation or board, in order to 
gain a four-year diploma. Most attended Lock Haven High School, 




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Joseph Smith, Mary Kunes, unidentified, unidentified, David Hess, un- 
identified, Bernice Stull, Samuel Waite, Robert Bitner, Ellen Bitner, 
Edith Bitner. 

Sara Lingle, Frances Hunter, Sylvia Sykes, Lorena Smith, Elizabeth 
Miller, Margaret Rohrbaugh, Stella Confer, unidentified, Florence 
Greninger, Sheldon Bitner, Perry Mann, William Bitner. 

Violet Bowers, Sue Bitner, unidentified, Anna Mae Hunter, Dorothy 

Clark, Sarabelle Holter, Raymond Shope, Harold Greninger, Robert 


George Miller, Clifford Stull, Mildred Waite, Edward Waite, Arthur 

Masden, Floyd Scott, Blair Bitner. 


where two additional years of study were required in spite of each hav- 
ing the minimum graduation credits after just one year. Those going 
elsewhere were graduated after one additional year. At the same time 
graduates of two-year high schools in the area were graduated at Lock 
Haven after a total of just four years. In 1930 our school board, realizing 
the unfairness involved, awarded diplomas to our potential 1931 
graduates along with the 1930 class and reduced our high school to a 
two-year course. Following the graduation of the class of 1946 our high 
school was closed. Several years later, with the borough and township 
as part of the Bald Eagle-Nittany jointure, the elementary school was 




Glenn Stephens, Gladys Confer, Erba Bullock, Mary Johnson, Louene 

McCullar, Jeanette Rogers, Wanda Campman, Audrey Stall, Blaine 

Robb, Kathryn Rohrbaugh, Evelyn Confer. 

Chester Stevens, Lewis Miller, Irene Sanders, Bessie Bitner, Clarinda 

Smith, Edward Bitner, Harry Lingle, Fred Johnson, Max Winslow, Anna 

Hess, Mildred Myers, Martha Myers. 

Floyd Holter, Berwyn Miller, Harry Wolfe, Caroline Bowes (a visitor), 

Othella Lytle, Bessie Strunk, Dorothy Smith, Elinor Clark, Ruth Shope. 

Robert Hunter, Joseph DeHaas, Harry Bechdel, Richard Mann, Laura 

Strawcutter, Elva Wilson, Priscilla Winslow, Elwood Rohrbaugh, Helen 


John Farwell, Arthur Cox, William Winslow, Kathryn Bitner, Elizabeth 

Reed, Fred Brungard, Brook Linn, Eva Bullock. 


reduced from eight grades to six. Consolidation of borough and 
township elementary grades required additional space. At that time a 
modem annex was attached to the rear of the old brick building, which 
is still in apparent good condition. 

In the early 1860's Pulaski F. Hyatt, who represented the seventh 
generation of the Hyatt family in America, taught four terms at the 
Bitner School and boarded with the Abraham Bitner family. He later 
received degrees in pharmacy, dentistry and medicine. On June 8, 1893 
President Grover Cleveland appointed Dr. Hyatt to be U. S. diplomat 
to Cuba, a position he held with distinction throughout the insurrection 
that followed. Dr. Hyatt, according to authorities, was a direct descen- 
dant of Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski of Revolutionary War fame. In all 
likelihood he was a close relative, possibly a brother, of Rev. L. B. 




Wanda Campman, Catharine Lewis, Berwyn Miller, Fred Brungard, 
Harry Lingle, Harry Wolfe, Joseph DeHaas, Bessie Bitner, Clarinda 
Smith, Louene McCullar, Glenn Stephens. 

Max Winslow, Glenn Swartz, Fred Johnson, Esta Miller, Priscilla 
Winslow, Floyd Holter, Bessie Strunk, Richard Mann, Kathryn Rohr- 
baugh, Evelyn Confer. 

Audrey Stull, Irene Sanders, Robert Mann, Arthur Cox, Elizabeth Reed, 
Kathryn Bitner, Abbie Lewis, Martha Myers, Eva Bullock. 


Hyatt, who preached at the Blanchard Church of Christ in the 1860s. 
In previous writings the authors of this history have mentioned the 
Pennsylvania school law, passed on April 4, 1809, which required each 
assessor to annually list "all children between the ages of 5 and 12, 
whose parents are unable to pay for their schooling." Their tuition fee, 
usually amounting to about three cents per day, plus the cost of books, 
paper, etc., were bome by the taxpayers. It is written that each such 
child was conspicuously identified by the wealthier students, a condi- 
tion that sometimes put the parents, as well as the children in a 
humiliating position. Many poor parents, therefore, preferred to raise 
their children uneducated. The 1809 school act, declared by some to 
contain more philanthropy than wisdom, was replaced in 1834 and 1835 
by legislation to provide free education for all, with no distinction 
between rich and poor. Controversial as it may have been, it 
nevertheless, seems certain that the act of 1809 provided many poor 
children with a basic training that led to notable careers. Legislation 
requiring school districts to provide pupils the free use of textbooks was 
not forthcoming until near the end of the century. 

In addition to Buckham Claflin and Rev. N. J. Mitchell; the follow- 
ing have been identified as early schoolmasters: John Philip DeHaas 
(III), who had a long tenure and Joseph Ranken, Abraham Row, 
Thomas Price and Alexander Fargus, about whom very little more is 


A compilation has been made of the graduating classes of Beech 

Creek High School from the very first to the last. It is observed that of 
the unusually large class of 1925 only one member now lives in our area. 
In contrast, two members, or one half of the class of 1918 still reside 
here. Of the twenty-seven 1930 graduates not one now lives within our 
area. The lists of graduates for 1932, 1934 and 1942 cannot be verified as 
complete and correct. Official school records have been lost or 
destroyed. Of the fourteen members of these three small classes who 
were personally approached, not one could positively identify all his 
fellow graduates. It is added, rather sadly, that few, if any, were suf- 
ficiently interested to aid in the research. It is only fitting to pay 
tribute, at this point, to Florence McGhee, daughter of Oscar and 
Jemima (Haagen) McGhee. Florence, a 1910 graduate, named, without 
any hesitation, the ten members of her class. 

1909 — Earle Bittner, McDowell Bullock, Bertha Linn, Harry Linn, 
Stella Mobley, Helen Quigley, Mary E. Smith. 

1910 — Wilda Berry, William Beschler, Russell Clark, Clarence Earon, 
Maude Gangnon, Beatrice Linn, Florence McGhee, Leotta Packer, Lil- 
lian Quigley, Olga Sundin. 


1911 — Doyle Heverly, Nevin McCloskey, Lucy Mantle, Sylvia Miller, 
Willard Snyder, Fred Wynn. 

1912 — None. 

1913 — Ellen Matilda Batschelet, Edna Magdalena Bittner, Margaret 
Rebecca Clark, Bernard Forcey, Fannie May Johnson, Elma Mildred 
Peters, David Milford Waite. 

1914 — None. 

1915 — Hazel Joan Heverly, Besse Isabelle Tibbins, Archie David 

1916 — Hulda Batschelet, Mary Packer, Orpha Peters, Charles Swartz, 
Jane Wynn. 

1917 — Thelma Bullock, Boyd Clark, Merrey Clark, Lois Crays, Bertha 
Heverly, Joseph Kunes, George Trexler. 

1918 — Clyde Clark, Dorothy Linn, Celia Packer, Myra Peters. 

1919 — Frances Berry, Rella Biddle, Victor Peters, Mary F. Smith, 
Josephine Tibbins. 

1920 — LaRue Burd, Margaret Farwell, Sarah McGhee, Helen Miller, 
Lawrence Rohrbaugh. 

1921 — Donald Clark, Rachel Forcey, Merle Johnson, Howard T. Linn. 

1922 — Delos Glossner, Mae Masden, Kenneth C. Miller, Esther 
Peters, Laura Peters, Grace Swartz. 

1923 — Blaine W. Kunes, Howard F. Linn. 

1924 — Nellie Bickel, Louise Clark, Berton Confer, Jesse Courter, 
Leonard Heimer, Robert Lindsey, Madelyn Miller, Naomi Peters, 
Lynn Stephens. 

1925 — Catherine Confer, William Cook, Clyde DeHaas, Helen 
Dunlap, Roy Dunlap, Rowena Glossner, Mary Hess, Robert Holter, 
Robert Linn, Alton Miller, Esther Miller, Louise Miller, Alice Peters, 
Harold Robb, Harriet Rohrbaugh, Ardell Smith, Dean Stephens, Lois 
Stephens, Bessie Stevens, Lena Stevens, Ethel Swartz. 

1926 — Hester Gunsallus, Ruth Hunter, Freda Myers, Casper Peters, 
George Peters, Burnette Rohrbaugh. 

1927 — Elinor Clark, Ruth Counsil, John Farwell, Anna Hess, Helen 
Johnson, Helen Kunes, Brady Lingle, Kenneth B. Miller, El wood 
Rohrbaugh, Donald Rupert, Ellen Shuttleworth, Pauline Shut- 
tleworth, Laura Strawcutter, Glenn Williams. 

1928 — Fred Brungard, Evelyn Confer, Joseph DeHaas, Fred Johnson, 
Harry Lingle, Richard Mann, Martha Myers, Kathryn Rohrbaugh, 
Clarinda Smith. 


1929 — Robert Hunter, James Linn, Sarah Mapes, Berwyn Miller 
Glenn Stephens. 

1930 — Dorothy W. Berry, Beatrice Bitner, Dorothy M. Bitner, Ellen 
Bitner, Sheldon Bitner, Dorothy Clark, Stella Confer, Margaret Earon 
Sarabelle Holter, Anna Mae Hunter, Frances Hunter, Mary Johnson' 
Minnie Leathers, Perry Mann, Arthur Masden, Dorothy Miller' 
Elizabeth Miller, Ethel Miller, Malcolm Peters, Margaret Rohrbaugh' 
Lorena Smith, Harold Stevenson, Olive Stevenson, Edward Waite' 
Max Winslow, Robert Winslow, Lena Zanella. 

1931 — Edith Bitner, Marybelle Burd,' Harold Gardner, H. Lucille 
Glossner, G. David Hess, Devester Heverly, Martha Mapes, George R. 
Miller, Hilda Myers, Joseph Smith, Bernice Stull, Margaret 
Wadsworth, V. Abraham Zanella. 

1932 — Lucinda Heverly, Dean Lingle, David McKean, Jean Mann, 
Ruth Shuttleworth, Russell Smith, Sidney Tressler. 

1933 — Dorothy Bitner, Robert Bitner, Evelyn Gardner, Mary Heimer 
Norman Heimer, Mary Holter, Thelma Johnson, Walter Kunes' 
Malcolm Lindsey, Jane Linn, Woodrow Rohrbaugh. 

1934 — Devonna Bitner, Byron Bullock, Clifton Glossner, William 
Gundlach, Miriam Lindsey, Louise Myers, Allen Stevenson, Lee 

1935 — Dorothy Coffey, Millar Holter, Bessie Hunter, Dorothy Hunter 
Pauline McCloskey, William McKean, Nora Myers, Harold Packer, 
Mary Winslow. 

1936 — Joseph Berry, Madeline Bitner, Stanley Bitner, Warren Bitner 
Harold Heverly, Leslie Hevner, Ruby Hull, Pauline Hunter, David 
Mapes, Marjorie Moore, Harry Packer. 

1937 — Eleanor Bechdel,- Jane Bechdel, Perry Berry, Bruce Bitner, 
Louise Bitner, William Bowman, Alice Hevner, Robert Hevner' 
Merwyn Johnson, Betty Kephart, Jack Kessinger, Alice Lindsey,' 
Twyla Lingle, Leonard Mann, James Mapes, Blair Philips, Faye 
Peters, Paul Rupert, Pauline Rupert, Violet Rupert, Phyllis' Stull, 
Catharine Yaggie. 

1938 — Ross Beschler, Geraldine Bitner, Clara Glossner, Linn Heverly, 
Helen Hevner, Fred Hunter, Mark Kessinger, Laura Mapes, Mary 
Mapes, Daune Miller, Warren Miller, George Murray, Richard Packer, 
Aldine Rupert, Josephine Stull. 

1939 — Bernadine Barnard, Mae Conway, Miriam Dickey, Vivian 
Fravel, Darlene Gardner, Jack Gundlach, Emily Herb, Jane Heverly, 
Eugene Hunter, John Hunter, Lois Kephart, Allan Lingle, Virginia 

Moore, Violet Peter, LeRoy Rupert, Jean Scantlin, Miriam Scantlin, 
Rudy Shilling, Dorothy Smith. 

1940 — Emma Lou Berry, Ila Jean Bitner, Joseph Bitner, Alma Glos- 
sner, Beatrice Heverly, Gertrude Heverly, Miriam Hevner, Vivian 
Hunter, Jean Kessinger, Carl Lindsey, LeRoy Peters, Dorothy Rupert, 
Pauline Toner, Dorothy Womelsdorf. 

1941 — Jeanette Barnard, Margaret Coffey, Darell Counsil, Samuel 
Driver, Glenn Hevner, Edrie Holter, Robert Murray, June Myers, Rus- 
sell Stull, Adam Yaggie. 

1942 — Joseph Clark, Richard Dickey, Clair Glock, Gerald Holter, 
Robert Kitchen, Betty Lindsey, Bertha Lingle, Bernard Miller, 
Edward Scantlin, Isabelle Shilling. 

1943 — Doris Bechdel, Harriet Berry, Zula Cox, LaRue Hinchliffe, 
Howard McGhee, Louise Wagner, Robert Wolstencroft. 

1944 — Claire Bitner, Richard Carter, Ellsworth Conway, Jr., Earl 
Cox, Margaret Hevner, Bruce Holter, Doris Hunter, William Kes- 
singer, William Linn, Lloyd Masden, Joanne Myers, Evelyn Scantlin, 
Roy Shawley, Samuel Wolfe. 

1945 — Sylvester Brungard, Melvin Dickey, Janice Heverly, Joan 
Heverly, Harry Hevner, Mary Hunter, Helen Lindsey, Kathleen 
Masden, Doris Miller, Donald Myers, Virginia Wagner, 

1946 — Clarabelle Brungard, Elaine Holter, Dale Kleckner, June 
McGhee, Laurine Myers, Vivian Walker, Walter Winslow. 



Chapter IV 

Occupations and Professions 


Of the fourteen men who were engaged in tailoring in our township in 
the first half of the nineteenth century at least three were in our im- 
mediate area. They were John and Nicholas Quigley, likely father and 
son and John Omer, Jr. Orner's father, a stone mason, had settled at 
the eastern end of our township some time before 1810. Tailors in the 
latter half of the 1800's included Joseph Brownlee, William Thompson, 
Benjamin Bierly and Warren Walz, a son of John G. Walz, the saddler, 
who is mentioned elsewhere. During the early 1920's I. W. Buck moved 
his tailoring shop from Blanchard to the old Berryhill building on West 
Main Street, long known as the "Seven Kitchens." Mr. Buck remained 
in this building until it was razed in 1923 by James Reish of the Fair- 
point area. The present highway passes over the spot, at the end of 
Harrison Street, where the building stood. Mr. Buck and his former 
neighbor, Peg Rupert, then occupied, together, the old Nestlerode 
house, directly across the creek from the opposite end of Harrison 
Street. When this house burned Peg moved to the old fish house, 
. farther upstream, and "I. W." left for Philadelphia to live with 


It appears that very few, if any, of the owners of the Beech Creek grist 
mill during its long existence were millers themselves. Actual millers in 
our then broad township during the early 1800's included John Antes, 
Isaac Harvey, John Packer, John Elder, Hugh Baker, Andrew Yeager, 
Valentine Confer, John Harvey, and William Carson. It seems 
reasonable to believe that some of these worked at our mill, yet none of 
them owned it. Joseph Morrison DeHaas, son of John P. and Hannah 
(Morrison) DeHaas was the local miller from before 1850 to some time 
after 1860. Mr. DeHaas, his first wife, Sarah (Heckman) DeHaas and 
their family lived very close to the mill at that time. Mr. DeHaas later 


performed milling chores in various parts of Centre County before 
finally settling in Liberty Township. It appears that his replacement at 
the local mill was William Peirson, who also lived close to the mill. 
Later local millers included: William B. Foresman, a son of John 
Foresman and his second wife, Maria; William Strunk, a son of Ben- 
jamin and Mary (Pecht) Strunk; Hayes Strunk, son of William, above, 
and his wife, Anna (Grove) Strunk; and I. J. Rohrbaugh, a distant 
relative of the earlier Rorabaughs of our area, but with a slightly dif- 
ferent spelling of the name. 


Tanners were not plentiful in our area. In the early 1800's we had 
Michael Kirk. During the 1830's, and later, Asher Packer, son of Moses 
and Hannah (Packer) Packer, was employed at this trade. In the 1860's 
Miller L. McKean, a tanner in the Zion area, moved to Beech Creek 
and established a large tannery. More is said of Mr. McKean in the in- 
dustrial section of this history. 


Thomas Armstrong Smith, the son of Revolutionary War soldier, Gi- 
deon Draper Smith and his wife Sarah (Frederick) Smith, maintained 
a saddlery shop in our township from about 1820 to about 1840. Many 
area residents descend from Thomas Armstrong Smith Rogers, 
namesake of Mr. Smith. Other early saddlers were Henry Crook, John 
Allen and David Clark, all of whom were active in the 1830's. Some 
time between 1860 and 1870 John Walz, who had followed the trade in 
Howard during the 1850's and 1860's, opened a saddlery shop in Beech 
Creek. A more recent saddler was Frank Berry, who is mentioned in 
another paragraph. 


Shoemaking was very popular in the early days, and most of the 
shoemakers were real craftsmen, being able to make a complete pair of 
shoes according to the style and size desired. We read in historical 
books that Jeremiah Rockwell opened a shoe shop in 1826, and was fol- 
lowed three years later by Simon Lingle, brother of John Lingle, the 
weaver. Neither continued at the trade very long, but it is interesting to 
note that shortly thereafter each took a Liberty Township girl for his 
bride. Jeremiah married Susanna Bitner, daughter of John and Susan- 
na (Nestlerode) Bitner, while Simon married Susanna Kunes, daughter 
of Daniel and Hannah (Rorabaugh) Kunes. Despite historical mention, 
neither, as has already been pointed out, contributed much to local 



shoemaking. Furthermore neither contributed much to later develop- 
ment. After several years Mr, Rockwell established himself elsewhere, 
finally settling, it has been reported, in the Towanda area, from which 
he had come. Mr. Lingle, who had taken his younger brother, Joseph, 
into the business, dissolved the partnership on November 1, 1836 and 
moved to Blanchard, where he was instrumental in the development of 
that town. Younger brother, Joseph, became Centre County sheriff 
fourteen years later and moved to Bellefonte, where he spent the rest of 
his life. 

Before the time of Rockwell and Lingle our broad township, exclusive 
of the Nittany Valley portion, had at least twenty-six shoemakers, in- 
cluding James David, one of the sons of Revolutionary War veteran 
Daniel David. Of these twenty-six, seven continued at the trade for 
only one year; three lasted two years, and three lasted three years. Two 
reasons have been advanced for this high turnover: (1) many entrants 
soon realized that they would never become true successes, and (2) 
some were floaters always looking for a greener area. 

Shoemakers who entered the trade between 1826 and 1850 presented 
a similar situation, but with a somewhat better record of endurance. 
During this period we find John T. Packer, D. William Counsil, a son of 
John and Rhoda (David) Counsil, William Masden, son of Justus and 
Elizabeth Masden and David Lingle, brother of Joseph and Simon. 
After 1850 conditions within this trade were much more stable. At 
about that time William Trexler became a very permanent shoemaker 
in Beech Creek. Mr. Trexler and his wife, Elmira (White) Trexler, had 
a son, Fleming, who also learned the trade. After dabbling in several 
other fields of work, Fleming, some time before his father's death, 
returned in earnest to the shoemaking trade. Thus the Trexler shoe 
repair shop was continued for a period approaching seventy years. 
Henry H. Berry, son of William and Anne (Omer) Berry, spent many 
years at shoemaking before he began devoting the majority of his time 
to civic pursuits and elective offices including tax collector. Mr. Berry 
is remembered as being a real tax collector as opposed to the "tax 
receivers" of today. George Wensel, who was born in Germany, learned 
the shoemaking trade under Mr. Counsil. He maintained a shop for 
many years in the upper Water Street home that was later remodeled 
extensively by Frank Hunter, son of James and Clara (Nestlerode) 
Hunter. John McGhee and his brother-in-law, Nelson Caldwell, 
operated shoe shops for a period of about twenty years. During the 
1860's Samuel Furl embarked on a shoemaking career of apparent short 

William Franklin Berry, who had learned shoemaking under his 
father, Henry, switched his leather working talents to harness making 


when he established a saddlery shop during the 1880's. In 1912 Mr. Ber- 
ry sold his Main Street property to Conrad Glock and moved to his new 
brick building farther up the street. His new building, designed for both 
a residence and a shop, is now occupied by the family of Merwin 
Johnson, a grand nephew of Mr. Berry. Mr. Glock, who lived with his 
uncle, Casper Peter after his arrival from Germany, later married Fan- 
nie Miller, a daughter of John and Nancy (Nestlerode) Miller. Also 
during the 1880's William L. McKean discontinued his planing mill 
business to work at the shoemaking trade. A later switch took Mr. 
McKean into barbering. - 

It was during the career of the younger Mr. Trexler that factory- 
made shoes replaced the old hand-made variety. It was also during his 
career that most of the real shoemakers became just cobblers or shoe 
repairmen. However, in the 1930's our area gained the services of a 
craftsman, who, given the task, was capable of constructing a shoe from 
the sole up. He was Richard Fako'ury, now retired and living in Lock 
Haven. On the last day of December in 1976 the old Trexler shop, a 
solidly constructed building, was moved east over the old New York 
Central Railroad bed from its original location on Grant Street to a 
point in Beech Creek Township to await further planning regarding its 
future use. 


The number of persons employed as coopers (barrel makers) grew 
gradually during the period from 1800 to 1820. However, during the 
next decade there was a very noticeable increase, especially when com- 
pared with the increase in the population or the increase in the number 
of distillers. It seems logical that the apple trees planted by early set- 
tlers were now bearing large quantities of fruit, which produced cider 
for apple butter making and for vinegar to be used for pickling and 
preserving purposes. The cooper with the longest record was Joseph 
Morrison, who lived in our general area. The Clarks, namely William, 
Samuel, Benjamin, John, Stephen and William, Jr., more or less 
monopolized the trade. A gradual, but definite, decline of this industry 
was evident after 1830. After 1850 we find only the names of Daniel 
Rush and John Miller, in addition to Samuel Clark, who was still ac- 


It does not require close inspection of the older houses in our area to 
recognize the skill, handicraft and diligence that went into their con- 
struction. Apparently there was a lot of pride in a job well done. 

However, the one trade that is most difficult to accurately, fairly and 


completely cover is that of carpenter. Some carpenters, it appears, 
worked only part time at the trade and were officially listed as farmers, 
or otherwise. The 1850 census, first to show occupations, listed the fol- 
lowing full-time carpenters: Vickers Amos Packer and his brother, 
Hayes Coates Packer, the cabinet maker who is mentioned elsewhere; 
James Linn, son of Andrew and Martha (Polk) Linn; George Q. Wil- 
liams, son of George and Susan (Quiggle) Williams; John Wilson and 
Benjamin Clark. 

By 1860 James McGhee, son of John and Elizabeth (Linn) McGhee 
and husband of Fannie Gunsallus, the daughter of James and Rachel 
(or Sarah) Masden Gunsallus, had become a journeyman carpenter. 
Note: After the death of Rachel (Masden) Gunsallus, widower James 
Gunsallus married Rachel's younger sister, Sarah. James McGhee's 
son Oscar also learned the construction trade before he began fanning 
on the old Saul Haagen farm, where his wife, Jemima had been raised. 
Other carpenters of that period were: John Bickel, whose first wife, 
Sarah, died in 1863; Thomas Martin, a leader in the construction of the 
present Church of Christ building at Blanchard; Henry Hanley and 
McCormick Graham, who finished his career at the railroad shops in 
Renovo, at which place his wife Mary Ann (Bollinger) Graham died in 
1893. Mary Ann was a daughter of Christian and Eliza (Kirk) Bol- 
linger. In his latter years Mr. Graham did part-time ministerial work. 
Later nineteenth century carpenters included Roland Gunsallus, 
Joseph Bowes and John Kunes, each of whom had come from Centre 
County, and their backgrounds are well known to the authors. 

Strange as it may seem, since 1900 Beech Creek has had very few 
carpenters who learned the trade at an early age and remained in it for 
a full and complete lifetime occupation. An exception was Horace Hub- 
bard, son of Joseph Hubbard and his first wife, Harriet (Weaver) Hub- 
bard. Another was Oscar Kunes, son of John Kunes, listed above, and 
husband of Alma (Swartz) Kunes, the daughter of Henry and Mary 
(Confer) Swartz. B. Frank Bowers, an all-round handyman divided 
most of his time between carpentry and painting, later adding electric 
wiring to his skills. Much of the area carpentry during this period was 
done by tradesmen living nearby in Liberty Township. Two craftsmen 
who fit into this latter category were Charles White, son of John and 
Martha (Confer) White, and Charles's brother-in-law, Marion Swartz, 
a son of Joseph and Sarah (Swartz) Swartz. Another was William 
Bitner, son of John W. and Elizabeth (Berry) Bitner. William's first 
wife was Martha Winslow, a daughter of Joseph and Laura (Johnston) 
Winslow; the second was Margaret (Bowes) DeLong, daughter of 
George and Sarah (Hoover) Bowes, and widow of Jacob DeLong, son of 
Jonathan and Frances (Bumgardner) DeLong. 


"mS*-— » show that John Baler •^**-j»*2 

tt • a+,„a»+ in -\mP> True enough, John was a oeecn oreeK 
SLSST bu' t wa oniy^; of maU and according to official 
blacksmitn m» o j Furthermore, Mr. Baker was 

whom worked at the trade for at least a short period It seems 
tablet believe that at least several * *«™^^ ™ 
soecific area, possibly right in town.and with longer records than dm. 
Baker's eight years. To sight some examples, 1^^™™™* 

bltksmi hhig from 1801 to 1815; James Clark and Wnham Wto, 
blacksmitmng ir ^ ^ lgU; John Wllson> 

Z o rti-This /ea'th around ^w^* 

Catharine was overseer of his estate; James Caldwell, from 181 * 1830- and William Courter from 1831 to 1836. Mucn Dewer 
records - i established by David Rorabaugh and William Smith, both 
haXg set up shops in 1820. Mr. Rorabaugh, a grandson of early 
S Township settlers, Simon and Eve (Reed) Rorabaugh, con- 
tinental his d'eath just before 1850. ^^ZJiStS^. 
n«vid were working at the trade around the middle ot the century. 
Ano ner successful blacksmith of that period was Samuel Knepley 
whote career sp ann ed the period from the 1820's into the 1850's. During 
STISTlSE Grove, a Revolutionary War veteran was doing 
blacksmithing in some part of our township. 

Other early blacksmiths, most of whom are definitely known to hm 
been in our specific area, were Jacob Runner, who later moved to 
liberty Township, James McCloskey, William Hays, James Hays 
Washington Heverly, James Heverly and Joshua Roan ^<> mgrod 
Ann DeHaas, daughter of Lt. John P. and Ann ^ippm) DeHaas 
Around 1839 came David Miller, a brother of Fulton and Carpenter 
Miller, the plasterers. David, who had a long and busy career was he 
fa her of Carpenter X. Miller and the grandfather of George B. Miller 
the telegraphoperator. Postmaster Clair Johnson was a great grandson 
of Futm Milk, Beginning in the 1840's Washington Hever^ began 
concentrating his metal-working ability exclusively to the manufacture 
of « His descendants include Mildred (Heverly) Scanthn, Louise 
?Bitaer) Allen, Harold Heverly and Clifford Heverly of Lock Haven. 

During his long career David Miller saw many blacksmiths come and 
go Induded were John Gilmore, Lucius Carpenter, **£»^£ 
John Dalton. However, there were several, whose records may have 
evS surpassed Mr. Miller's. Lemuel Shearer began pounding the anvil 
Tefore W50 and continued to do so until around the time of his death in 


An early horseless carriage. 


This house, built around 1792 by Lieutenant James Hays (1740-1817) on 
land granted for war service, was later converted for the storage of hay. 
It was located just off the road leading to Bald Eagle Creek. The 1912 pic- 
ture shows Caroline Cook (1856-1927), great granddaughter of Mr. Hays. 


1901. Shortly after 1850 William Bullock and his wife Margaretta 
(McKinley) Bullock came here from the Milesburg area. William set 
up a blacksmithing dynasty that was to last for almost a hundred years. 
This was possible because William's sons, Willis Park Bullock and 
Charles Ellsworth "Dix" Bullock continued at this trade until they 
reached rather advanced ages. During the major portion of their careers 
Dix limited his work almost .exclusively to farriery while Willis did 
general metal working and little or no horseshoeing. Dix, once 
described as of muscle and bone, maintained this physique throughout 
his long career. In fact Dix's life and labors paralleled very closely those 
of Henry Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith." Only one thing was 
noticeably missing — the "Spreading Chestnut Tree." 

Blacksmiths who set up shop during the decade of the 1860's were 
John Curns, David Martin, Irvin Hanscomb and Irvine Keyes, another 
son of Stillman and Eliza, whose wife was Frances Clark, daughter of 
James and Rebecca. The 1870's brought John T. Hunter, a Civil War 
veteran and ancestor of our area Hunters, who had come from Mill Hall 
and later moved to Liberty Township. Another blacksmith with a long 
record of quality work was Edward Martz, whose shop was directly 
across the highway from the Haagen School. Mr. Martz taught the 
trade to his son, Charles, a current resident of the township, who fol- 
lowed metal working all his life, with his first outside occupation being 
with the Beech Creek Truck and Auto Company. The last blacksmith 
shop in the township was operated by Christ Heaton at the same loca- 
tion where William Bullock closed his career. Leslie Heaton, brother of 
Christ, had operated a shop in the borough in a building erected by 
William Smith, son of J. Edwin and Ida (Aley) Smith, for automobile 


It is hard to conceive the popularity of the weaving trade in the early 
days. Although some remained at the occupation for only several years, 
a total of twenty-two practiced their skills between 1803 and 1839. The 
weaver with the longest period of activity was Abraham Harleman, who 
lived at the opposite end of our township in the Fairpoint area. The sec- 
ond best record was established by Benjamin Johnson. It is difficult to 
pinpoint the exact location of twenty additional weavers. However, 
there is one exception. He was John Lingle, son of Paul and Mary 
(Spohn) Lingle, who was occupied at the trade in Beech Creek from 
1824 to 1828, during which time he married a local girl, Sarah Miller, 
and later moved to Ohio. 


Cabinet Makers 

Our earliest cabinet makers were Hayes Coates Packer, a son of 
Moses and Hannah (Packer) Packer, and also James Packer, likely a 
close relative of Coates. The wife of Coates Packer was Ann Eliza Wil- 
liams, daughter of George and Susan (Quiggle) Williams. Shortly 
before 1850 Vincent S. Smith, who had earlier come from New York 
state and married Mary Jane Lingle, only daughter of Simon Lingle, 
opened a cabinet making shop. Mr. Smith, whose cabinet work includ- 
ed the making of coffins, served two terms as local postmaster. In the 
early 1800's Isaac Chambers and Joseph Burd directed their wood 
working talents toward the making of chairs. Harold Packer of Beech 
Creek is a great, great grandson of Coates Packer, and Jean (Gardner) 
Laubscher of Lock Haven is a great granddaughter of Vincent Smith. 

Canal Boatmen 

The coming of canal boat transportation, which started in the 1830's, 
brought a number of new occupations to the area. Boat captains in- 
cluded the three Lingle brothers, whose careers were sketched in the 
October, 1971 publication of the Centre County Historical Society. 
After the closing of the canal, George, the youngest of the three 
brothers took up farming at Beech Creek, where he was born in 1823. 
Incidentally he lived until 1923. His brother James began farming in 
Boggs Township, Centre County, and Alexander went west to continue 
canal boat work. Area boatmen with shorter careers included: John 
Winslow, son of Charles and Margaret Winslow, natives of Ireland; 
John Cook, who later served in the Civil War and married Elizabeth 
Winslow, sister of John; Thomas Winslow, a brother of John and father 
of two young canal boatmen of later times — Thomas and Charles; 
Joseph Quay, who after his marriage to Jemima Miller, daughter of 
Samuel and Eliza Miller, took up full-time farming; Henry Myers and 
Joseph Lucas, the latter having come from Centre County; and Robert 
Grater, who later moved to Liberty Township. 

Before the days of the canal heavy cargo was floated .downstream 
from this area on arks. William Strickland, a former ark builder and 
repairman of grounded arks for the Howardville Furnace Company at 
the present town of Howard, became a local canal boat builder later in 
his career. 

Justices of the Peace 

Although justice of the peace was just a part-time or side-line oc- 
cupation, it, nevertheless was one of importance. In early years a fairly 
large percentage of marriages was performed by these officers. Follow- 



ing is the best available account of our justices over the years: Hugh 
McFadden, William Quay, John McGhee, George W. Sterling, James 
Clark, James David, James R. Quay, Joseph W. Merrey, John Ligget, 
George C. McGhee, Jesse S. Hall, Clarence R. Rossman, George F. 
Hess, Sheldon C. McKean, Pauline (Hawkins) Gundlach, Twyla 
(Lingle) Yearick and Albert Hamm, in this general order. Early records 
reveal that in the 1830's Michael Quigley served as justice of the peace 
in addition to his postmaster duties. His handwritten certificate for the 
marriage of Asher Packer, son of Moses and Hannah (Packer) Packer, 
to Nancy Hall, daughter of Jesse and Elizabeth (Johnson) Hall, on 
May 26, 1836, is being preserved by Jessie (Packer) Vaught of Lock 
Haven, a granddaughter. 

Stone Masons 

The excellent work of our early stone masons is still evident in our 
older homes and especially in the lock of the old canal in Liberty 
Township between Bald Eagle Creek and the railroad tracks. This, the 
Beech Creek lock, was built about 1833, and still stands in a very firm 
condition. Our area did not have as many stone masons as neighboring 
Liberty Township. One of our first was John Bitner, son of John and 
Susanna (Nestlerode) Bitner, who married Susan Orner, a daughter of 
John and Elizabeth (Paul) Orner. Others were John and Jesse 
Harleman and William Wilson. 


There is no evidence of any pottery plants in our immediate area. 
However, during the 1840's Philip Berry was making pottery at the 
eastern end of our then large township of Bald Eagle. Some years later 
Mr. Berry and his wife, Leah, moved to Mt. Eagle, where he joined 
John Bitner Leathers in his pottery manufacturing enterprise. Leathers 
pottery, much of which reached the Beech Creek area, has become a 
collectors' item. A booklet on Pennsylvania pottery, published by the 
Union County Historical Society in cooperation with Bucknell Univer- 
sity, mentions Leathers pottery and credits the authors of this story 
with providing information. 


Because of the less refined methods of very early construction, it is 
not surprising to find that no plasterers were located in the township 
before 1836, at which time Isaac Ditsworth and Thomas Harleman, a 
son of Abraham and Nancy Harleman, began the trade. Harleman Hol- 
low in Beech Creek Township was named for these Harleman families. 


By 1838 George Fulton Miller, son of James Miller, had become a 
qualified plasterer. Mr. Miller, who lived in the house diagonally across 
from the Methodist Church, later returned to the farm and did plaster- 
ing only during his spare time. Carpenter Miller, a brother of Fulton, 

also did some plastering. 

Wagon Makers 

The earliest wagon maker on record was Richard Berryhill, son of 
Andrew and Mary (Homier) Berryhill, who came from Jersey Shore 
and married a local girl, Mary Snyder, whose parents William and 
Margaret (Marshall) Snyder, later moved from Beech Creek to 
Blanchard. Mr. Berryhill, owner of the lengthy apartment house on 
Main Street, known as the Seven Kitchens, doubled as an innkeeper 
during a portion of his career. A later wagon maker was William 
Rupert, who was born in Liberty Township to Barnard and Elizabeth 
(Hannon) Rupert, later returning to that township following a brief 
residence at the old Moon farm beyond the Beech Creek reservoir in 
Marion Township. Candace, wife of William, was a daughter of Rev. 
William A. Ridge, who had served as pastor of both Blanchard 


During the 1870's Charles Keyes, son of Stillman and Eliza (Strong) 
Keyes, established himself as a tinner. Mr. Keyes was followed by Wil- 
liam R. Linn, who worked at this trade until about the time of his death 
in 1924. Mr. Linn, a son of James and Mary (Morrison) Linn, 
sometimes, for no apparent good reason, spelled his name "Lynn." 


Our first commercial butcher was Daniel "Dance" Kunes, a son of 
Daniel and Mary (Bechdel) Kunes of Blanchard. Daniel came to Beech 
Creek Township before 1850, married Mary Mapes, a daughter of 
James Mapes, in 1869, and established his business at about the same 
time. The next meat market, started by James Bitner, a son of Chris- 
tian and Isabella (Sterling) Bitner, was located in a portion of the house 
now occupied by Russell and Gladys McKinney. In 1905 Mr. Bitner 
sold his business to Sumner Riddle of Howard, and moved to the 
Thomas Furl property in the township. Later Mr. Bitner opened 
another butcher shop in that part of the Ligget Triangle on Locust 
Street that later served as the ice cream parlor of Nellie Smith, 
daughter of Thomas and Martha Elizabeth (Nestlerode) Smith. Other 
butchers of that period included George Whamond, son of David and 


Christena Whamond, and Cline Q. Confer, a son of James and 
Catharine (Trexler) Confer. A little later a meat market was opened on 
Vesper Street by Torrence Hunter, a son of John and Frederica 
(Smith) Hunter. Mr. Hunter was succeeded by his nephew, John H. 
Hunter, son of James and Clara (Nestlerode) Hunter, who conducted 
the business for many, many years. When Mr. Hunter closed his 
business it marked the end of an era where both the butchering and 
marketing were done by the same individual. 


The first full-time barber was James Allison Williams, son of Wil- 
liam Williams and his second wife, Ann (Lingle) Williams. Barber Al, 
as he was familiarly known to distinguish him from his cousin, C. Al- 
lison "Al" Williams, the Blanchard merchant, began his career in the 
1860's."With no full-time professional barbers prior to that time there 
may have been some excuse for an occasional shaggy-appearing male. 
Barber Al's shop on Main Street was destroyed in the big fire of 1903, 
after which he located on the second floor of the building at the point of 
the Ligget Triangle. He died in 1906 at the home of another cousin, 
Henry Williams. Our second barber was William L. McKean, who, as 
noted elsewhere, first established a planing mill, and later a shoemaker 
shop. Mr. McKean's three sons, William, Sheldon and Lyle, learned 
the barber trade and worked locally at various times. In 1914 H. 
Edward Cox converted the former Ambrose B. Brady store building 
into a barber shop. Mr. Cox was followed at the trade by his son, 
Arthur, who has continued the business to this day. Around 1918 
William Bolopue, a former Blanchard barber, opened shop in a small 
building next to the Beech Creek Hotel. Mr. Bolopue soon afterward 
closed his business and the building was skidded to the Corman farm 
in Beech Creek Township. In more modern times Walter E. Miller, son 
of J. Orrie and Virginia (Barger) Miller, conducted barber shops at 
several different locations in town. 


Farming, an occupation that was learned from the time of childhood 
by most of our early settlers, is treated in the chapter of this story that 
deals with industry. 

Telegraph Operators 

The occupation of telegraph operator came and went with the rise 
and decline of rail service in our valley. During the 1909-1910 period 
thirteen operators lived in Beech Creek. They were: H. Clair Berry, son 


of W. Frank and Jennie (DeLong) Berry; D. Roy Bitner, son of William 
N. Bitner and his second wife, Mary Caroline (Lucas) Bitner, who had 
been the widow of Franklin Pierce Bitner; Michael Flynn, who married 
Cora, a daughter of Charles and Annie (McGhee) Heverly; Eugene 
Johnson, son of Joseph and Edith (Berry) Johnson; Simeon Maines, 
whose tragic death is mentioned elsewhere; Charles W., Irvin and 
Morrissey Miller, sons of Michael and Sara Clementine (Aikey) Miller; 
Harry W. Packer, son of George and Maria (Burd) Packer; Fred and 
Harry Salisbury, sons of Henry and Deborah (Whitefield) Salisbury; 
Ellis Sundin, who had been transferred here; and Dean Swartz, a son of 
Joseph Swartz and his wife Alice (Stager) Swartz, who had been the 
widow of Joseph's older brother, Nathan J. M. Swartz. Others who 
entered the occupation at about that time or later were George and Ray 
Bullock, sons of Willis and Annie (Lingle) Bullock; George B. Miller, a 
grandson of David Miller, the blacksmith; and Stewart Winslow, son of 
Edward and Annie (Counsil) Winslow. 

Miscellaneous and Diverse Occupations 

There is evidence that in the 1820's several windmill makers were 
located in our township. An early cigar maker was Cline Quigley, a son 
of Cline and Agnes (Thompson) Quigley. Later came George C. 
McGhee, son of John and Julian (Harleman) McGhee. As a boy, the 
male coauthor of this story sampled one of the McGhee cigars, which 
had been stored for many years in the attic of the old McGhee home 
now occupied by Dorothy Hunter. During the late 1800's Frank Stahl 
and his two brothers made cigars in the building that now houses the 
Linger Inn. During the 1870's, Joseph Linn, son of James and Mary 
(Morrison) Linn, fashioned axe handles in his shop in the western part 
of town. Dorothy (Linn) Heverly is a granddaughter of Joseph. - 

Early sawyers included John Romig, who had come to the area with 
the William Snyder family and later married Jane Swartz, daughter of 
Michael and Frances (Bartholomew) Swartz. Another was William 
Waite, son of Samuel and Polly (Oswalt) Waite. The Waites and 
Romigs lived near each other on the road leading to Maidsville. For 
many years Mary and Sarah Romig, daughters of John and Jane, were 
self-employed milliners. Lee Waite is a grandson of William Waite. 
Millwrights were likely employed on somewhat of a free-lance basis set- 
ting up and repairing machinery in sawmills, grist mills, tanneries, dis- 
tilleries, etc. Those who followed this trade included Peter C. Gould, 
who had married Mary Ann Wagner, daughter of George and Susan 
(Rorabaugh) Wagner. Another was James Quay, who later married 
Sarah McClure and devoted his full time to farming. George Ruple, 
who came from New Jersey and married Zylphia (Winslow) Miller, 




widow of the first Michael Miller, was also a qualified millwright. 
Michael Miller was the father of Michael Miller (1856-1946) and four 
other children including Eli, killed in the Civil War and Catharine, who 
married James Quigley. George and Zylphia had two sons, George Mc- 
Clellan "Clell" Ruple and William Ruple. 

In earlier days a number of our men were employed as woodsmen, 
working mostly out of lumber camps, some located at distant points. 
Although not a highly skilled occupation the woodsman, nevertheless, 
had to be a rugged individual. As coal and clay mines opened in this 
area and west of us a gradually greater number of miners was needed. 
In 1909, for example, a year in which Wynn's clay mine was in full 
operation, a total of twenty-one men living in the borough were 
employed as miners. Without doubt our township was contributing a 
number of men to the mining industry at that same time. 

Postmasters and Rural Mail Carriers 

Postmasters from the time of the first post office in 1828 to the year 
1885 were: Michael Quigley, whose ancestor, then spelled Quickie, 
reached America in October, 1736; Dr. David W. Roberts, trie first of 
four consecutive postmasters to be employed during the years 1839 to 
1846, when Beech Creek patrons were served by the Eagleville (now 
Blanchard) post office; Joseph Bumgardner, a long-time justice of the 
peace in Liberty Township; John Brickley, an early storekeeper in 
Blanchard; John T. Clark, who engaged in blacksmithing for more than 
forty years; Austin Leonard, an early fanning mill maker in Beech 
Creek; George Furst, the merchant; John Brownlee, whose residence in 
our area was of apparent short duration; Cline Quigley, a merchant and 
son of Michael and Mary (Clark) Quigley; Christian Bollinger, a farmer 
and carpenter who lived in both Liberty and Beech Creek townships; 
Vincent S. Smith, a cabinet maker, who had come from New York state 
and received two separate postmaster appointments, the first being at 
a time when Blanchard was served by our post office; and Charles R. 
Keyes, the tinner. 

Postmasters since 1885 have been: Marshall Packer, whose wife, 
Mary, was from the Johnson families that had come from England; Mr. 
Smith, serving his second term; Enoch H. Hastings, who had come 
from Centre County; Fleming P. Trexler, whose shoemaking skills are 
mentioned elsewhere; Henry C. B. Williams, son of George Q. and 
Elizabeth (Bollinger) Williams; Harry Bollinger Clark, son of James 
and Rebecca (Quigley) Clark; Harry H. Fearon, son of John T. and An- 
nie (Johnson) Fearon; Morrissey C. Miller, former telegraph operator; 
Israel J. Rohrbaugh, who had come to Beech Creek as a grist miller; 
Clair E. Johnson, son of Eugene and Daisy (Miller) Johnson; and 


Everett Cox of State College, who by virtue of changes in postal 
regulations, became the first non-resident to hold this office. 

In 1902 a rural delivery route was established at our post office. The 
first rural carrier was Sidney Fearon, another son of John T. and Annie. 
Mr. Fearon was followed by Morton C. DeHaas, son of Joseph Morrison 
DeHaas and his second wife, Susan (Shirk) DeHaas. Mr. DeHaas car- 
ried the mail from 1910 to 1924 by horse and buggy, and by automobile 
from 1924 to the time of his retirement in 1942. Mr. DeHaas's last sub- 
stitute, Berton J. Confer, son of Cline Q. Confer and his first wife, Mary 
Frances (Loomis) Confer, took over in 1942 and served until 1944, when 
Frank A Johnson, son of Joseph and Edith (Berry) Johnson was ap- 
pointed regular carrier. Mr. Johnson was succeeded in 1948 by his son, 
Joseph, who is the present carrier. An earlier long-time substitute for 
Mr. DeHaas was William Myers, son of L. Melvin and Susan Pauline 
(Bitner) Myers. A number of letters, written between 1858 and 1863 
and bearing the Beech Creek and Eagleville postmarks, have been 
preserved and are presently in the hands of the authors of this story. 
Harry J. Haines is the present substitute rural carrier. 

Professional Occupations 

During much of the last half of the nineteenth century James Clark 
did surveying and map making in addition to operating his store. Mr. 
Clark's wife, Rebecca Ann, was a daughter of Nicholas Quigley, the 
tailor. James David, who served at least one term as county commis- 
sioner, did full-time surveying in his latter years. Additional local sur- 
veyors and civil engineers included William Montgomery, who married 
Jane Lucas, a daughter of Nathan H. and Nancy (Gardner) Lucas of 
Liberty Township, and settled in Beech Creek; John W. Crays, whose 
' career was cut short by his death on May 26, 1876; Thompson Snyder, 
who as a young boy came from Snyder County with his parents, Wil- 
liam and Margaret (Marshall) Snyder, and later married Harriet 
Brady, daughter of James and Mary (Locke) Brady; and William "Bil- 
ly" Mitchell, who was born to Rev. Nathan J. and Sarah (Packer) 
Mitchell after the family moved from Beech Creek to Howard. At 
Howard they occupied the house, where Sarah and her brother, Wil- 
liam F. Packer, who later became our governor, had been born. Billy 
Mitchell married Susan Rothrock, daughter of Dr. Rothrock of Beech 
Creek. In 1899, during the midst of his career, the Mitchells moved 
from here to Lock Haven. They are buried at Hays-Fearon cemetery. 
In 1939 Claude H. Bechdel, son of Edgar and Maud (Heberling) 
Bechdel, who had previously been associated with the family undertak- 
ing business in Blanchard, left his farm in our township to establish the 


Bechdel Funeral Home in the former Dr. J. E. Tibbins property on 
Main Street. After Claude's death in 1963 the business was continued 
by his widow, Dorothy, and son, Bruce, a previously licensed mortician. 
Brace's accidental death in 1980 may have marked the end of a very 
successful, long-standing, family enterprise. 

In the early years of the nineteenth century Dr. Alexander Lindsey, 
likely a son of Revolutionary War solider, Mungo Lindsey, was practic- 
ing medicine in the opposite end of our township. During the years 1806 
to 1808 Dr. Joseph Andrews was practicing somewhere in our township. 
Later for a period of about six years, Mill Hall, then a part of our 
township, had the services of Dr. Frederick Noah Essick. During the 
years 1823 and 1824 one part of our township was provided medical ser- 
vice by Dr. Warren Hopkins. Then came Dr. Samuel H. Wallace, who, 
after about seven years moved his practice to Jersey Shore. The next 
doctor to display his medical knowledge in the township was Benjamin 
Berry. During the years from 1836 to 1838 Dr. William Hiborne was 
providing medical services. In the 1860's and 1870's Isaac Strong, a 
brother of Solomon Strong, was a patent medicine manufacturer. 
When Mr. Strong died at Castanea in 1895 he was identified as Dr. 
Isaac Strong. Whether or not he was already licensed as a doctor while 
living here is not known. His obituary said that he was buried at Beech 
Creek. There is no cemetery marker for him or his wife Phoebe. 

In 1838 Dr. David W. Roberts established an office in Beech Creek. 
He later practiced in Eagleville, now Blanchard, where he served as the 
first postmaster. Next came Dr. William P. Rothrock, who lived at the 
corner of Harrison and Water Streets in the house later occupied by Dr. 
W. D. Home, a chemist. Rothrock's wife, Jane, was a daughter of 
Robert and Frances (Quigley) Stewart and a sister of George Furst's 
wife, Eliza. Dr. Rothrock, who moved to Kansas in the 1870's was fol- 
lowed by Doctors Joseph E. Tibbins and Henry H. Mothersbaugh, and 
by Dr. John M. Bright who left during the next decade. 

Joseph E. Tibbins was born to Samuel and Elizabeth (Garbrick) 
Tibbins in Centre County on November 18, 1847. During the Civil War 
he was hired to substitute for a draftee, a common and legal practice at 
that time. The money he received went a long way toward paying for 
his medical training. Dr. Tibbin's first wife, Emma (Hoy) Tibbins, died 
January 23, 1872 at age 21, leaving a young son, George Hoy Tibbens. 
On June 24, 1873 Dr. Tibbens took for his second wife, Emma Mc- 
Dowell, to which marriage was born a son named Perry McDowell Tib- 
bens. Dr. Mothersbaugh, who lived and kept office in the large house 
next to the former Presbyterian Church building, moved to Altoona at 
about the same time that the two sons of Dr. Tibbins entered medical 
careers. The youngest son, Dr. McDowell, as he was familiarly known, 


died in 1939, before ending his medical career. Dr. George died in 1945 
during retirement. 

During the middle 1940'a Dr. William Dreibelbis came to town, but 
stayed only a short period before returning to Snow Shoe. Next came 
Doctors Ronald and Mary (Moss) Price, a husband and wife medical 
team. The Prices left later to establish a medical clinic in a western 
state. In 1948 the community gained the services of a physician who 
was to establish himself permanently. In March of that year Dr. Robert 
E. Drewery, who had just completed a tour of military duty, following 
graduation from medical school, came to town, occupying the former 
Dr. George H. Tibbins home and office. The female co-author of this 
story recalls that her then five-month old son, David, was one of Dr. 
Drewery's first patients. The "office call" for David turned out to be a 
"livingroom call," because Dr. Drewery's office was not yet completed 
and David was examined in the Drewery living quarters. Most impor- 
tantly, the diagnosis and treatment brought speedy recovery. 

In 1865 Dr. Van Valin opened an office in Beech Creek for the prac- 
tice of dentistry. Records indicate that he was still here in 1882, but ap- 
parently left shortly thereafter. 


Chapter V 

Development of Industry 
and Transportation 

In the early 1800's acres and acres of virgin, soft wood trees (white 
pine, yellow pine and hemlock) were waiting to be cut and milled. 
Many outsiders were attracted to our area by the logging and lumber- 
ing industry. Among others the names of James Boyd, Henry James, 
Samuel Pletcher and Edward Huff appear as Bald Eagle Township 
sawmill operators during the period from 1801 to 1811. Mr. Boyd's mill 
was described on the 1808 township assessment list as "at Beech 
Creek." Mr. Pletcher was of the early Pletcher families of the Howard 
area. Pletcher family histories show that he lived a short distance 
below town. Mr. James, who is mentioned elsewhere in this story, lived 
here until his early death in the 1840's. His widow, Joanna (Fredericks) 
James, maintained a home for her young children, Elizabeth (later 
Linn), Clinton and Susannah (later Heverly) until their marriages. In 
1880, at age 87, Joanna was living with Levi and Lydia (Linn) Rupert. 
It appears that Lydia was a granddaughter, but her parents are not 
positively identified. Prior to the construction of the local canal our ex- 
ports, which consisted mostly of lumber, had to be hauled by wagon or 
floated downstream on arks. On March 9, 1771 Bald Eagle Creek had 
been declared a public highway for arks as far up as Spring Creek. On 
March 4, 1815 Beech Creek stream was declared a public highway from 
its mouth up to Eddy Lick. Ark shipments had to be made when the 
streams were at the proper level. Records show that arks occasionally 
were snagged and the entire cargo lost. 

About the year 1814 Hugh McFadden and Michael Quigley, both of 
whom marrried local girls, joined in partnership to build a grist mill at 
Beech Creek. This has generally been considered as the move that spur- 
red the early development of the town. The McFadden-Quigley venture 
included the construction of a dam on the creek plus the enlargement 
and extension of a ditch to form a mill race for water power. In 1815, 
before the mill was ready, they took advantage of the mill pool's poten- 
tial by building a carding and fulling mill on the island, just behind the 
mill. By late 1815 their entire project wa9 completed, the mill was 



grinding grain, and was placed on the assessment list for the 1816 tax- 
able year. Prior to that time grain had to be hauled long distances for 
milling. Quigley later purchased McFadden's interest and became sole 
owner. Many previous accounts of this enterprise have given full credit 
to Quigley alone. As this paragraph is being written, the original mill 
building, which had been remodeled several times over the years, still 
stands, but in a deplorable condition. It is in the middle of town on the 
south side of Main Street. It may well have reached the point where 
restoration for historical purposes would not be practicable. In the 
1950's, without any prior consultation with local people and apparent 
owners, our State Department of Forests and Waters bulldozed the old 
dam in Beech Creek stream from its anchorage. The heavy timbers and 
planks were allowed to go afloat, possibly creating more liability 
downstream than the dam was causing here. 

By 1832 Joseph M. Smith, who had come from the Philadelphia area, 
was sending rafts of logs downstream to destinations in the lower Sus- 
quehanna Valley. Some of Mr. Smith's logs were used in the construc- 
tion of a bridge across the Susquehanna at Harrisburg. Mr. Smith mar- 
ried Janetta "Jane" David, a daughter of Isaac David of the pioneering 
David families. Jane was a granddaughter of Revolutionary War 
soldier, Daniel David, who died here on April 17, 1832. Mr. Smith died 
on October 11, 1870 at age 59. On March 25, 1874 his widow, Jane, mar- 
ried John Miller, whose wife, Nancy (Nestlerode) Miller, had died on 
May 3, 1869. This marriage had problems and by 1880 they were living 
separately. Jane and her two youngest daughters, Alice and Mattie, 
were on Water Street in the house later occupied by the Dix Bullock 
family, and John, with his youngest son, Alfred, were on their farm. To 
show that these two highly respected families remained on very friendly 
terms it should be noted that shortly thereafter John Miller's nephew, 
John B. Miller, married Jane's daughter, Alice. Furthermore Irvin 
Smith, a grandson of Jane, later married Laura Miller, a grand- 
daughter of John, 

Sawmill operators during the period from 1820 to 1850 included 
George Carr, Daniel Crouse, William Parsons, George Furst, L. G. 
Andrews, Samuel A. Cook, Housel and Miller, Samuel Saylor, Cline 
Quigley, Andrew White and Samuel and Johnson Hall. It was during 
this era that the circular saw replaced the old English-type, gate-mill 
single saw. During this same period the Nestlerodes were busily 
engaged in lumbering operations on the other side of the creek in 
Liberty Township. The name of Samuel Saylor, above, is a reminder 
that it was he, who, in 1883, undertook the construction of a railroad up 
Beech Creek valley on the opposite side of the creek. Mr. Saylor's par- 
tially completed roadbed and a stone bridgeway are still in evidence at 


the foot of Big Hill. A more complete account of Mr. Saylor's venture 
may be found in the Liberty Township Bicentennial book published in 

By 1882 only one of the twelve sawmills that had been on the Beech 
Creek side of the creek was still in operation. This mill, then owned by 
Saylor, Day and Morey, stood behind the present home of the Guy Lit- 
tle family at the southern edge of the borough, and was the last of the 
large mills in the area. The vast supply of valuable timber, much of it 
"hogged over" and wasted, was coming to an end. Mill operators of a 
later period included Alpine White, usually referred to as "Piney." 
George D. Hess, a brother-in-law of Mr. Saylor, and Alvin D. Knecht 
came together from the Easton area to develop lumbering interests, 
and each later married local girls. Another lumberman of that period 
was John C. DeLong, son of Jonathan and Fannie (Bumgardner) 
DeLong of Liberty Township. John's wife, Temperance, was a daughter 
of G. Washington Heverly and his second wife, Susannah (James) 
Heverly, Another was Samuel Gardner, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth 
(Lucas) Gardner. The younger Samuel's daughter, Maggie, became the 
wife of David M. Packer. 

In 1820 at the opposite end of our township, close to or within the pre- 
sent area of Mill Hall, a young English immigrant, who had married 
about two years earlier, established a fulling and dyeing operation. In 
1826, or shortly thereafter, he moved his textile enterprise to the 
Chatham Run area. Over the years this establishment grew and grew 
until it became the Woolrich Woolen Mills that we know today. The 
young English immigrant, as you have likely already guessed, was John 

The Bald Eagle and Spring Creek Navigation Company was 
organized in 1832 to extend a branch of the West Branch Canal from 
Lock Haven to Bellefonte. In spite of the hand digging involved this 
boatway, which passed through the southern edge of our township, was 
completed to Beech Creek and ready for service in relatively short time. 
However, the section to Bellefonte was not completed until 1847. The 
delay was caused by the necessity of constructing twenty-two locks 
between here and Bellefonte. When finished the canal fully replaced 
the arks, which carried downstream heavy consignments, such as iron 
from the furnace at the eastern edge of Howard, then known as 
Howardville. The canal also replaced much of the horsepack and wagon 
shipments in the valley. However the bulk of the canal shipments was 
lumber. A heavy storm in 1865 washed out many of the locks west or 
Beech Creek. They were never replaced, likely because the Lock Haven 
and Tyrone Railroad was already providing competition. Incidentally, 
Canal Lock 24, directly south of Beech Creek, between Bald Eagle 



Four Wheel Drive and Four Wheel Steer Truck 


frl-FTER ipending five year> in telle and uiveitigalion of the problem, lo bo met in mod™ truck craniporta- 

5-1 [ion, a truck hat been produced which .«li the dem.nd. made by bmine.. men. Even with the advent 

of Iho ordinary rear drivo truck, it wa» a recognized fact that the ideal condition to be met. m lo drive the 
machine from all four wheeli. Add to this the principle of (leering wilh all four wheel,, and you obtain the 
pinnacle of convenience in moving and handling a load. The ihorteoming. of the ordinary rear-drive machine 
•re only too well known, for if from any cauie you lo.e the tractive power from one wheel, the load !• .tailed 

until that condition it removed. 


Creek and the Bald Eagle Valley Railroad was known as the Beech 
Creek Lock. The walls of this particular lock, in spite of 100-year old 
trees rooted in their banks, are standing as erect as when built in the 
early 1830's. 

The Lock Haven and Tyrone Railroad Company was organized in 
1853 to provide a direct route between these two towns. Later known as 
the Bald Eagle Valley Railroad, it passed through the southern portion 
of Beech Creek Township. This line was acquired by the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Company in 1908. Being a part of the bankrupt Penn-Central 
system it is now operated by Conrail, a government subsidized 
enterprise. The local division of this railroad began operations in 1862. 
The section between Bellefonte and Tyrone was opened in 1863. 

In 1838 Solomon Strong began the manufacture of fanning mills in 
a building on Main Street, opposite the present Community Center, 
formerly the Presbyterian Church. During the 1840's and 1850's Austin 
Leonard was in the business of making fanning mills. Whether he was 
operating Mr. Strong's business or had started one of his own is not 
known. However, a short time later Stillman Keyes, a brother-in-law of 
Mr. Strong, was the owner and operator of the original Strong factory. 
Hall's planing mill stood next to the fanning mill building. In those ear- 
ly days grains were hand flailed. Fanning mills separated the chaff 
from the grains, likely by an air blowing process. 

The old covered bridge connecting Beech Creek and Liberty 
Townships, just south of Beech Creek borough, was built around 1832 
as a part of the early Bald Eagle Valley highway. In 1895 a new pier was 
placed at the center to support a sagging bridge. In 1907 a concrete 
masonry pier was built to replace the wooden pier, which had been 
washed out by ice floods. By the 1920's the bridge was sagging on both 
sides of the middle pier, and was showing the effects of continual 
failure to replace the roof shingles. In late June, 1927 the bridge col- 
lapsed, marking the end of a long period of faithful service. 

About the middle of the last century coal deposits were discovered in 
the area around the northern edge of our township. This event at- 
tracted mining developers from England and other immigrants eager to 
do mining work. Among the families that settled in these mining areas 
we find the Reavilles, Berges, Whamonds, Llewellyns and Strecks. 
Railroad facilities for the removal of both coal and lumber were later 
built into this region from the main tracks on the Susquehanna River. 
Deposits of iron ore in the same area led to the construction of a furnace 
near the south fork of Scootac Creek. The lumbering and mining opera- 
tions in that section were responsible for the development of a number 
of small communities including Reveltown, Bear Swamp, Peacock and 


The Miller L. McKean tannery, which was located on the Kessinger 
lot on Main Street, started operations in 1869. Mr. McKean, a son of 
Thomas and Julia (Miller) McKean, died suddenly at age 39 on Oc- 
tober 4, 1876, just three years after the death of his younger brother, 
Mark, also a tanner. He left a widow, Ella, and a little daughter, 
Mabel. It appears that the tannery ceased operations after the death of 
Thomas McKean in 1879. An artist's sketch of the tannery building, 
preserved for many years by the late William F. Kessinger, indicated 
that this was a large operation. Newspaper accounts indicate that the 
McKean home, now occupied by the family of Clair McKivison, was 
purchased in 1905 by Barnard' Rupert for $560. 

In the 1870's Daniel Lose erected an iron foundry along the old mill 
race directly south of the Presbyterian Church building. He was later 
joined by John Bickel, who became a partner in this enterprise. Henry 
Lose, a son of Daniel and his wife, Susan, married Eliza Heverly, a 
daughter of Washington and Susanna (James) Heverly. Another son, 
John, married Ann Quigley, a daughter of James and Catharine (Mil- 
ler) Quigley. 

The P.R.R. station with Maybelle DeHaas and Simeon Maines on the 


The Beech Creek, Clearfield and Southwestern Railroad, generally 
known as the Beech Creek Railroad, was built up Beech Creek Valley in 
the early 1880's. It was financed chiefly by the Vanderbilts and others 
of New York City. The primary purpose of this road was to transport 
coal from midwestern parts of the state for locomotive use and to in- 
dustrial centers farther east. The first train reached Beech Creek on 
May 15, 1884. Passenger service between Jersey Shore and Beech Creek 
was inaugurated on July 1 of that year. On that same date the first coal 
train came from farther west and was weighed, one car at a time, on the 
Beech Creek scales, then located on the main track. The scales were 
soon, thereafter, removed to a side track east of town, and later moved 
to the Jersey Shore area. On February 1, 1885 passenger service was ex- 
tended to Philipsburg, and by 1886 the tracks were completed to Clear- 
field. However, it was not until 1893 that the lines reached Mahaffey 
and Cherry Tree in Cambria County. For the benefit of key employees 
the company built and maintained two family residences in Beech 
Creek and one at Mapes Station, a "flag stop" for passenger service. 
Track maintenance crews were established at Beech Creek and Mapes. 

By 1895 the railroad was hauling considerable lumber and was soon 
to be conveying large quantities of clay and fire bricks. Westbound 
trains carried farm products, processed foods and merchandise. On 
November 21, 1895 the Clinton Democrat reported that 6451 cars had 

yVfc£i£ 'M° t &&2& 1 

The N.Y.C. station with, left to right, Irvin Miller, John Clark, Morris 

Miller, Burns Pollock and Jim DeHaas. 


passed over the tracks during the week ending on November 16, a 
typical week. Of this total 3108 loaded cars had been hauled eastward, 
while 60 loaded cars and 3283 empties were taken westward. 

In 1899 the Beech Creek Railroad was leased for a period of 999 years 
to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company and 
became the Beech Creek Division of that system. At that time F. E. 
Herriman, a former station agent at Beech Creek, who was then located 
in the Philadelphia headquarters, was placed in charge of all Penn- 
sylvania operations of the New York Central. During the early 1920's, 
particularly for weighing cars received from, and dispatched to, close- 
by points, a new set of scales was installed east of town. At about the 
same time a "Y" was built nearby to allow "pushers" to turn around 
preparatory to assisting in the pulling of trains up the inclines west of 
us. Traffic over the major portion of the railroad was discontinued in 
1966, when on April 23 of that year the local freight train made its last 
trip, with its whistle blowing continually as it moved through town. By 
April of the following year the tracks had been removed all the way 
from Snow Shoe to Bald Eagle Junction near Mill Hall. 

The Beech Creek Railroad Company continued as an entity even 
beyond the New York Central-Pennsylvania merger, and the later 
bankruptcy of the resulting Penn Central in June, 1970. However, a 
Federal judge's ruling in October, 1978, specifying the amount to be 
paid the Beech Creek shareholders was the official end of the Beech 
Creek Railroad. 

Some time before 1890 George Thomas Furst, son of George and 
Elizabeth (Stewart) Furst, developed Furst's Climax Healer, common- 
ly called "Tommy Furst's slave." His preparation was kept on hand in 
almost every area household, especially for its effectiveness in the 
treatment of boils and other skin eruptions. Mr. Furst, a nephew of Dr. 
Rothrock, may have had some professional help in developing his 
product. George S. Furst, son of Thomas and wife, Annie (Fearon) 
Furst, continued the manufacture and distribution long after his 
father's death. 

In 1892 James Riley DeHaas, a son of Edward and Ann (Connor) 
DeHaas, set up a plant in Beech Creek for the processing of sorghum 
syrup. No records can be found regarding the success of this venture. 
Mr. DeHaas's first wife, Mary, was a daughter of Jacob C. and Isabella 
(Confer) Bechdel. 

In 1893 the wooden bridge (likely a covered bridge) over Beech Creek 
stream at the western edge of town was replaced by a new iron bridge. 
This iron bridge was replaced by a larger steel and concrete structure 
during 1935 and 1936, at which time the highway was rerouted slightly 
starting at the Beech Creek Hotel. This rerouting placed the new road 


over a portion of the land once occupied by the "Seven Kitchens." 

A newspaper story in 1899 said "there is agitation to replace the old 
covered bridge at Hubbards." The article referred to the span joining 
Beech Creek and Liberty Townships on the present Route 364, about 
three miles upstream from town. However, it was not until September, 
1907 that the replacement, a steel structure, which still stands, was 
completed and inspected by the commissioners of Clinton and Centre 

The Beech Creek, news items in an 1899 issue of the Clinton 
Republican stated that the rumors of Beech Creek getting a fire brick 
plant were thus far unconfirmed. Nevertheless, at that very time John 
P. Wynn, a son of James R. and Mary (Bitner) Wynn, already familiar 
with all phases of fire brick making, was visioning the possibility of 
mining clay in the nearby mountains, transporting it by dinkey train to 
Beech Creek, where it would be processed. Thus was born the Penn- 
sylvania Fire Brick Company, which was to be the community's major 
and only large employer for the next fifty years. By 1909 sixty families 
living within Beech Creek were being supported by this plant including 
its mines and narrow-gage railroad. When one considers the total work 
force and the impact on the local economy, he can clearly see what one 
man's idea meant to our area. This plant which later became a divison 
of General Refractories Company, maintained a work force of about 
200 most of the time, and was one of the last of the fire brick plants in 
this general area to close down. At the time of his death in 1919 the 
operation was in charge of Warren R. "Dick" and Thomas Wynn, sons 
of the founder, and later J. Fred Wynn, son of Dick and his wife, Mable 
(Robb) Wynn. 

The small residence on the south side of Main Street, next to the old 
grist mill, was originally built to house a milk processing operation. It 
was later used for offices and then converted into living quarters. The 
porch on the east side was moved to that location from the front of the 
building when the highway was widened in 1934. 

On May 15, 1915 the Beech Creek Truck and Auto Company filed ap- 
plication with the Commonwealth for a charter. This company, which 
was capitalized at $100,000 through the sale of common stock, mostly 
locally, was organized to manufacture four-wheel-drive, four-wheel- 
steer, heavy-duty trucks. Within a reasonable period the first truck was 
completed in their new building on Main Street, now occupied by 
Spotts' store. Demonstrations of its power, traction and maneu- 
verability included ascending the steps of the court house in Lock 
Haven. At least one additional truck was fully completed, and several 
others were partially completed before the concern went into bank- 
ruptcy. W. Harter Vonada, formerly of Blanchard and now of Belle- 



fonte, has made a very interesting collection of pictures, stock cer- 
tificates, correspondence and other data related to the company. An ac- 
count of the entire venture including material and pictures provided by 
Mr. Vonada, was presented by the Lock Haven Express on November 
22, 1966. This followed a less detailed report in the same newspaper on 
September 28, 1961 from the memory of David M. Packer, then age 94. 
Mr. Packer had been associated with the company. The Antique 
Automobile Magazine, in its November-December 1977 issue, 
presented a very complete story and pictures of the Beech Creek truck. 
In addition to Mr. Packer, the following men had served on the board of 
directors: I. J. Rohrbaugh, George F. Hess, Lester H. Stephens, Henry 
H. Salisbury and Dr. P. McDowell Tibbins. 

The Beech Creek Bottling Works, started about 1920 by William P. 
Morrissey and his son-in-law, Allen W. Gundlach, became a very suc- 
cessful business, with "Whistle," a national brand of orange drink be- 
ing the prime product. This enterprise was succeeded by the wholesale 
beverage business of Mr. Gundlach, which is still in operation at an 
out-of-town location. 

During the 1920's a branch of the Howard shirt factory was es- 
tablished in a part of the building of the former Beech Creek Truck and 
Auto Company on Main Street, commonly referred to then as the old 
auto factory. After several years this division was consolidated with the 
main plant at Howard. 

Local bus service to Bellefonte and Lock Haven was started in the 
early 1920' s. The franchise for this route was later acquired by the Tices 

Our Armstrong plant. 


of Howard, who concentrated on the Howard to Lock Haven portion. 
The franchise was later acquired by the Johnson Motor Bus Company 
of Woolrich, which later became a division of the Lakes-to-Sea system, 
now the Continental Trailways. Longer distance service was provided 
for a number of years by the Golden Arrow lines, which operated 
between Cumberland, Maryland and Binghampton, New York. 

The Reed Candy Factory opened by Edwin R. Reed and family in the 
1920's, near to the present post office building, appeared very success- 
ful. However, a disastrous fire, mentioned elsewhere, destroyed the 
business, and rebuilding efforts never materialized beyond the con- 
struction of a new masonry foundation, which still stands. 

In 1926 our main highway, which then traversed Maple Avenue, was 
hard surfaced from the western edge of town to Mill Hall, and became a 
part of State Route 64. This improvement brought a large increase in 
through traffic, especially because it provided a shortcut for traffic on 
U.S. Route 220, which then passed through Bellefonte in its course 
between Milesburg and Mill Hall. Later Route 220 was moved to our 
valley. East- West Interstate Highway 80, generally known as 1-80 or the 
Shortway, was completed about 1970. This cross-country road runs 
south of us beyond the Bald Eagle Mountain range. Our approaches are 
at Milesburg for west-bound driving and south of Mill Hall for eastern 
destinations. Beginning in 1978 Route 220 traffic between Milesburg 
and Avis was officially rerouted via a portion of the shortway and a new 
connector road. This change to divert traffic from our part of the valley 

Champion Parts Rebuilders, Inc. 


has not been as successful as anticipated. Drivers familiar with the two 
routes prefer our shorter, more level highway, which is now designated 
as State Route 150. 

The Beech Creek Municipal Water System, designed to serve the 
Beech Creek-Blanchard area, was completed in the late, middle 1930's. 
Thomas F. Kessinger was primarily responsible for the undertaking. 
For this project Mr. Kessinger and two other civic-minded citizens, 
George F. Hess and Dr. P. McDowell Tibbins, appointed by council to 
become the Water Committee, steered the project to completion. In 
1966 with recommendations from the local Planning Commission on 
file and having awaited for the opportune time, our council made the 
move to install a sanitary sewage disposal system, another vitally 
needed project. After more than ten years of above-average rainfall we 
had become rather complacent, and did not fully prepare for the in- 
evitable. The greater number of users, an increased demand in 
Blanchard due to a recently installed sewer system, plus additional 
needs for new and expanding industries were bound to be factors in the 
early stages of a drought. Fortunately for us, when the 1980 water 
shortage arrived, a larger pump, placed at the well on Maple Avenue, 
has so far proved adequate to serve both towns. 

The period covered by the late 1960's and early 1970's brought two 
industries that are flourishing at this time. They are the Armstrong 
Cork Company and Haven Homes, both located just east of town. Our 
Armstrong division later completed an expansion program that was ac- 
companied by an increase in the work force. Haven Homes builds 
readymade homes. 

On June 9, 1978 Northeast Rebuilders, a division of Champion Parts 
Rebuilders, announced plans to consolidate its two Mill Hall units into 
a new facility to be built adjacent to the Armstrong plant. It was ex- 
plained that the projected move was primarily contingent upon finan- 
cial aid from the government. In December, 1978 it was announced that 
financing had been assured, and groundbreaking was to be scheduled, 
with completion expected in 1980. As contemplated earlier, the new, 
modem building for this facility was completed in 1980, and production 
began about mid-year. 

The one industry that should have special recognition is that of farm- 
ing. Our early settlers, after first providing shelter for their families, 
began clearing land so as to provide food for the table and feed for the 
livestock. Among our first settlers who carried the farming tradition 
from generation to generation were the Fearons, Hayses, Davids, 
Packers, Williamses, DeHaases, Millers, McCloskeys and Crispens. 
Shortly thereafter, in about this order, came the Bitners, Linns, Huffs, 
Winslows, Wagners, Glossners, Masdens, Liggets, Berrys, Quays, 


Manns, Reeds, Haagens, Halls, Eyers, Earons, Gummos and Bradya. 
Following closely were the Mapeses, Lehrs, Myerses, Dickeys, Ruperts, 
Harlemans, Rowes, Muthlers, Swartzes, Metzgers, Mantles, Kalere, 
Heimers, Peters, Bickels, Whitefields, and Smiths. From the early days 
until the present time the workday of a farmer often starts before 
daylight and ends after darkness comes. What other group of workers 
displays such industriousness! 


Chapter VI 

Commercial Enterprises 


Stores were scarce in our valley as late as the 1831-33 period, at 
which time a trading post was operating near Howard, then called 
Howardville. Beech Creek area residents whose names are found in that 
store's preserved account books include David Rorabaugh, William 
Hays, Simon Lingle, Michael Quigley, William Fearon, Henry James, 
Joseph Fearon and Hugh McFadden. John Rich, the founder of 
Woolrich Woolen Mills, then representing the firm of Rich and McCor- 
mick located at the other end of our township, was also listed as a 
trader. Customers made a wide variety of purchases, including calico, 
muslin, woven cashmere, silk by the skein, thread, sugar, coffee, alum, 
cinnamon, indigo by the ounce, castile soap, tobacco by the pound and 
whiskey at twenty-five cents per half gallon. Hardware items were sled 
soles, plow shares, razor strops, lumber and nails. In 1832 Paul Lingle 
delivered to the trading post 498 pounds of beef at 3 Vi cents per pound 
and 225 pounds of pork at 5 cents per pound. In 1833 Daniel Nestlerode 
of Liberty Township bought one German calendar for 12 VS cents. Dur- 
ing the period of the early 1830's the Howardville Furnace Company, 
operators of the trading post, was shipping its iron ore down Bald Eagle 
Creek by arks. Incoming goods came by horsepack and wagon trains. 
Christopher Heverly, the first Heverly to settle in this general area, had 
come here as an operator of the overland transportation system. 
Christopher, a son of S. Henry Everly, was the only one of seven 
children to affix an "H" to his name. 

The mercantile partnership of Landcake and Baker, sometimes 
listed as Longcake and Baker, began operating in Beech Creek in 1833, 
shortly after the canal had been opened this far. This firm was still do- 
ing business in 1839 and perhaps later, and appears to be of absentee 
ownership. Whether this firm conducted a general trading post such as 
the Howardville unit, or dealt in just one commodity such as lumber or 
grain, has not been ascertained. "Buck" Claflin, mentioned elsewhere 
as an early schoolteacher, was likely our first real storekeeper. He was 
succeeded by George Furst, Henry Gast, Cline Quigley and Andrew 


White, in this order. The location was the house on White Island, just 
south of the grist mill. White Island, named for Mr. White, was 
previously called Nestlerode Island. White was a son-in-law of Michael 
Quigley. Mr. Furst later constructed a large two-story brick store 
building on Main Street. Some time later Mr. Furst's son-in-law, 
George D. Hess, became a partner in the business, and afterwards full 
owner. Mr. Hess was succeeded by his son, George F. Hess, whose 
death in 1959 brought an end to this long-standing family enterprise. 
The building still stands and is in fairly good condition for its age. 

Other merchants in the middle to late 1800's were: Silas Hess and 
Salathial Mobley, each of whom was married to a daughter of Michael 
Quigley, Silas to Frances, and Salathial to Mary; Henry Berry, whose 
store building contained his shoe repair shop; and brothers, Charles 
and Erastus Cade, Civil War veterans who had come from Haines 
Township in Centre County and married local girls. Charles married 
Mary Elizabeth Hall, a daughter of- Joseph and Temperance (Sterling) 
Hall, and Erastus married Harriet Bitner, a daughter of Abraham and 
Mary (Leathers) Bitner. It is interesting to note that William E. 
Beschler, a great grandson of Joseph and Temperance Hall, became a 
twentieth century storekeeper. Additional merchants prior to 1900 in- 
cluded: John McGhee and the Ligget Brothers, who had come from 
Liberty Township; Jesse S. Hall,, son of Samuel and Sarah (Mc- 
Closkey) Hall; George W. Williams, the son of George Q. and Elizabeth 
(Bollinger) Williams and the husband of Kate Hubbard, a daughter of 
Joseph Hubbard and his first wife, Harriet (Weaver) Hubbard; Edward 
Mobley, the son of Salathial, and the husband of Jesse Hall's sister, 
Sarah. Others were: James Clark, a son of William and Sarah (Hays) 
Clark, whose store building on the high creek bank on upper Water 
Street is now a family residence; and Edward K. Parsons, who married 
Virginia, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (James) Linn, and later 
moved to Lock Haven. The Cade brothers also left town with Erastus 
finally settling at Damascus in Wayne County. 

The Ligget store building had been erected at the corner of Main and 
Grant Streets. This building later housed many commercial enterprises 
before being converted to serve as the first home of the Beech Creek 
National Bank. Recent conversion by William B. Kessinger turned this 
structure into an apartment house. The Williams store building on 
Locust Street was later used as a store by brothers-in-law, Lester 
Stephens and William Smith, followed by Mr. Stephens and another 
brother-in-law, Mr. Horton, and still later by Mr. Stephens alone, who 
continued the business for many years. During these same years the 
south side of this same building was used for various types of business 
by Alec Shoemaker, James Pollock, Eugene and Frank Johnson, 



The bank's first home. 

Timothy McCarthy and his daughter, Bertha, Charles W. Miller, An- 
nabels McKean and others. It was later used as living quarters. Mr. 
Stephens had come from New York state and married Annie Smith, a 
daughter of Temple and Eliza J. (Gardner) Smith; William Smith was 
a brother of Annie. Mr. McCarthy, the father-in-law of Mr. Miller, was 
the son of Isaiah and Julia (Hurley) McCarthy. 
After being burned out on Main Street the general store of Enoch 


The Beech Creek National Bank. 


Hastings was located at the point of the Ligget Triangle at the end of 
Grant Street. This small two-story building had been moved to that 
location in 1899 to make room for a house being built on Main Street by 
James Metzger. The store of John W. Waite in part of his home on 
Main Street was continued for many years, after which his son, John 
Raymond "Onnie" Waite, opened a small restaurant and confectionery 
store. A later conversion of this building by Harold Packer led to the 
pizza shop that exists today. For a short period starting in April, 1905 
Mr. Waite leased his store to Curtis Bechdel and moved temporarily to 

A drug store was opened by Mrs. Clara (Kelly) Tibbins, a licensed 
pharmacist and wife of Dr. George H. Tibbins, in the section of the Lig- 
get cluster that still stands. It was moved to the Ligget building on 
Main Street before being closed. 

Jerry Shearer once conducted a small store on Vesper Street in the 
former home of his wife's parents, George and Isabelle (Leonard) 
Shearer. This building is now occupied by the Harris Rupert family. 
Isabelle Shearer was a daughter of Austin Leonard, an early local post- 
master, and his first wife, Julia Ann (Packer) Leonard. Jerry Shearer 
was one of two children of Thomas and Margaret Shearer. The other 
was Franklin, familiarly known as "Sheriff Shearer. An 1899 news- 
paper story told that Albert Bergner was closing his Beech Creek store 
and opening a boarding house and store at Monument Run, where 
timber operations were still flourishing, but more importantly, a new 
fire brick plant was already under construction at that place. In 1870, 
at age 10, Mr. Bergner had been living with the David and Isabella 
(Reed) Mapes family in Beech Creek Township. He later married An- 
nie E ., a daughter of Casper and Philomena (Eckert) Peters . 

After being burned out by the disastrous Main Street fire of 1903, 
Edward Sykes opened a store on Locust Street in the present tavern 
building. He was followed at this location by his brother, Frank, who 
was later succeeded by his nephew, Milton, oldest son of Edward. 
Meantime another Frank Sykes, a cousin of Edward and Frank, con- 
ducted for several years a general store in the brick building at the cor- 
ner of Main and Grant Streets. Other merchants of that period were 
Adam Grenninger, who occupied several different locations, and B. 
Frank Thompson, whose son, Guy, married Ada Packer, daughter of 
George and Maria (Burd) Packer. In the early 1920's Shetler's Cash 
Grocery was opened in the building directly across from the present 
post office building. This business was continued by Beschler and Mil- 
ler, Mr. Beschler alone, Robert E. Murray and Ted Hunter, in this 
The present Spotts IGA market, an outgrowth of the former Dunlap 


farm supply and hardware center in the former auto factory building on 
Main Street, is flourishing as a modern, self-service, grocery and 
hardware outlet. Recently this firm added a line of major electrical ap- 
pliances. The Beech Creek Egg Barn, started originally in the old brick 
plant building as an industrial-agricultural venture in the production 
and wholesale of poultry, later specialized in producing and marketing 
eggs. Managed by Bruce Miller this commercial enterprise is now 
devoted particularly to the retail of fresh eggs. A nearby meat market is 
operated by Charles "Mike" Kitchen. In addition to those already 
mentioned retail or eating places have been conducted by J. W. Mer- 
rey, Thomas Burke, The Morrissey family, the McKean family, Wil- 
liam Fudge, Maud (Rupert) Smith, Anna (Dickey) Mann, Genevieve 
(Lytle) Bitner O'Donnell, Fred and Beatrice Sherman, William and Vi- 
vian Kunes, Edward Scantlin and likely many others. 

Around 1890 a large roller skating rink was built on east Main Street. 
When the building was later dismantled the lumber was reused by Dr. 
J. E. Tibbins in the construction of three houses in a row on the front of 
the same lot. Projecting from the roof of each house was a steeple- 
shaped dormer, which not only gave additional space and light to the 
attic area, but also provided a unique symmetrical appearance. One of 
these houses became the home and office of Dr. George H. Tibbins and 
presently serves the same purposes for Dr. Robert E. Drewery. 

Efforts to learn when and by whom the Beech Creek Hotel was built 
have been unsuccessful. Proprietors in the years prior to its acquisition 
by W. P. Morrissey around 1919 have been given as: Cline Quigley, who 
sold to Peter Gould in 1895; John P. DeHaas, a son of John P. and 
Susan (Bechdel) DeHaas, who took over in 1905; and Jacob Basinger, 
who left when the prohibition law took effect. After coal became an im- 
portant fuel for house-heating, a coal tipple, accessible from the 
railroad, was built along the tracks just west of Locust Street by Harry 
W. Packer. Later another tipple was erected by George D. Hess and Son 
at a point east of Locust Street. Local deliveries were made by horse 
and wagon. The exact date of the inauguration of telephone service in 
our area has not been verified. However, by 1909 we were being served 
by both the Bell and the Commercial companies. This double service 
continued until the 1920's, when Bell withdrew from the area. At about 
that same time the Commerical lines became the Bald Eagle 
Telephone Company, and later the United Telephone Company. 

In 1921, recognizing the need for such an institution, Dr. P. Mc- 
Dowell Tibbins took steps to establish the Beech Creek State Bank, 
now the Beech Creek National Bank. Mr. Tibbins became the first 
president and his fellow directors were: Dr. George H. Tibbins, a 
brother; William P. Morrissey, who, some years earlier, had married a 



local girl; John H. Hunter, son of James and Clara (Nestlerode) 
Hunter; Elmer Peters, son of Casper and Phoebe (Eckert) Peters; 
Shuman S. Williams, son of Isaac Williams and his second wife, 
Catharine (Holter) Williams; J. Irvin Wagner, son of George and Susan 
(Rorabaugh) Wagner; Albert Bergner, whose wife was a sister of Elmer 
Peters; and Stewart Williams, a Clearfield County native and the mine 
superintendent at Monument. The first cashier was David G. Meek, 
who had come from Juniata. Subsequent cashiers were Louden 
Brungard, whose first wife was Matilda Metzger, daughter of James 
and Ella (Martin) Metzger, and J. Aaron Haugh, a Mill Hall native 
who had married Olive Peters of Beech Creek. The present cashier is D. 
William Selfe, who was raised in. the Lock Haven area. The modern 
bank building on East Main Street, which includes a drive-in facility, 
has undergone two major expansions since it was constructed in 1967. 

The first garage and service station was opened by Thomas F. Kes- 
singer, a son of William F. and Martha (Lucas) Kessinger. Later 
operators of auto repair services included Clyde Lewis, who stayed only 
several years; William B. Cook, son of Charles and Dora (Bechdel) 
Cook; George Bitner, son of George and Elizabeth (DeLong) Bitner; 
Robert Dunlap, son of Thomas P. and Eva (Askey) Dunlap; and Fred 
Sherman, whose combination of garage, restaurant and trailer court 
was purchased and further developed by Edward W. Scantlin, the 
present owner. Other current garage operators are Malcolm and 
Thomas Myers, sons of Hiram and Tacie (Scantlin) Myers and Fred 
Gundlach, son of Allen W. and Ruth (Morrissey) Gundlach. 

According to a newspaper account in 1898 Beech Creek Council 
placed two new street lamps, increasing the total to 15. One was placed 
near the railroad station with the other placed on Mill Street (now 
Maple Avenue) in front of the residence of Johnson Gardner, now the 
home of William Kunes. Nothing was said of the twice-daily task of 
caring for each lamp. In 1920 State Center Electric Company extended 
their lines from Milesburg to our community. When the current was 
turned on in early December F. I Thompson, with the aid of B. Frank 
Bowers, local jack-of-all-trades, had many of the homes wired and 
ready. The street lights were lighted for the first time on Saturday 
night, November 17, 1921. Our producer later became Keystone Power 
Company, and still later West Penn Power Company. During those ear- 
ly years power interruptions were so frequent that kerosene lamps and 
candles had to be kept in readiness. In fact the company was dubbed by 
some as "The Sunshine Power Company." They joked, "We have light 
while the sun shines." At that time the minimum monthly billing was 
one dollar even though a family may have used less than the maximum 


of ten KWH's allowed for the minimum charge. Today most families 
use more than that in a half day. 

The electrical appliance and bottled gas business of William B. Kes- 
singer was first established in a new storeroom adjacent to the site of 
the present bank building. This business was later moved to its present 
location in the former, masonry-constructed, Kessinger garage building 
in the heart of town. An electrical appliance store was conducted for a 
number of years by Blaine W. Kunes in a part of his building on Locust 
Street. The local television cable system was installed by a developer 
living in Williamsport. Financial troubles forced the sale of the local 
network, which was purchased by Mr. Kunes. Improvements and ex- 
tensions made by Mr. Kunes and his son, Blaine F. Kunes, the present 
manager, turned this undertaking into a viable enterprise. 

At one time at least eight local stores had show cases fully stocked 
with penny candy, some pieces weighing an ounce or more. The 
youngster with a penny to spend had the choice of a tootsie roll, a 
peanut bolster, a jaw breaker, a lolly pop, or any one of about twenty 
additional varieties. If shopping at Waite's store he could slip his penny 
into the slot of an uncommon-type machine, pull the lever, and receive 
a heaping handful of Spanish peanuts or, if his appetite called for it, he 
could spend his penny for a dried herring, commonly called a "blind 
robin." If so inclined one could insert the penny in the Zeno chewing 
gum machine at Stephens's store and perchance get a stick of gum with 
a red wrapper. This particular wrapper entitled the lucky person to a 
free pack of gum. If after store hours, the penny could be used at the 
outdoor gum vending machine at the McKean pool room on Main 

Our first beauty parlor was opened by Jane Linn, a daughter of 
Edward and Minnie (Furl) Linn, and now the wife of Sydney Tressler. 
Other beauticians of an earlier day included Ann (Minier) Bamer, wife 
of Russell Barner, the insurance agent, and Ann Yeager, a former 
schoolteacher and the wife of Franklin "Sonny" Yeager. The following 
opened shops in more recent years: Catharine (Ponte) Johnson, wife of 
Joseph Johnson, the rural mail carrier; Eileen (Hovan) Gardner Mace, 
a daughter of John and Olive (Gardner) Hovan; and Trenelva (Confer) 
Peters, the daughter of Clyde and Mildred (Woodring) Confer, and wife 
of McDowell Peters. 



Chapter VII 

Events, Disasters 
and Anecdotes 

During the November, 1818 term of Centre County court James 
Monks, a native of Potter Township, and a son of William Monks, was 
tried for the murder of Reuben Guild, which had occurred on 
November 16 of the previous year. On Saturday, January 23, 1819 he 
was hanged in the yard of our county jail at Bellefonte while William 
Armor," a fifer in the War of 1812, played "Mary's Dream" beneath the 
gallows. Monks, himself, had requested this particular tune rather than 
the customary "Dead March." Even though the murder occurred on 
Marsh Creek in that part of Howard Township that later became 
Liberty Township, the story of this murder has always been associated 
with local history, because Monks had been employed here at the 
Henry James sawmill. It should be noted that previous local accounts 
had erroneously listed Guild as Giles. Mr. Monks had set out on foot for 
a visit in Clearfield County. When he returned on Sunday evening he 
was riding a horse equipped with attractive saddle and bridle, and he 
was sporting a new watch. When the murder of Guild was reported all 
suspicion fell on Monks. On a dark, rainy night Sheriff William Alex- 
ander came to Marsh Creek, arrested Monks, and, with no assistance 
took his prisoner to Bellefonte each riding a horse. Jurors for the trial 
included Absalom Ligget and Frederick Schenck, and witnesses were 
Mr. James, William Gardner, John Ligget, John Confer, Michael 
Meese, John Wantz, Samuel Gardner and Ephraim Green Gardner, all 
from this general area. 

Following the guilty verdict Monks confessed and explained in some 
detail his cowardly act of shooting Guild in the back after they had met 
on a lonely road. Upon completing a brief conversation each had 
started toward his destination when Monks, seized by what he, himself, 
described as an uncontrollable impulse, suddenly grabbed his gun, 
wheeled around, pointed at Guild and pulled the trigger. When the 
1820 census was taken, Mary Monks, widow of the murderer, and her 
two daughters, both under age 10, were still living in Liberty Township. 
Incidentally some of our present-day James, Heverly and Linn families 


descend from Mr. James, the sawmill operator. While awaiting his ex- 
ecution, the first in Centre County following its incorporation nineteen 
years earlier, Monks is credited with writing a thirteen-verse poem. 
The poem describes events that led to the murder, the actual murder 
and his later actions and feelings. He also absolves Andrew Allison, 
who was still accused of the murder, by some, even after Monks was 
convicted. A copy of the poem is in possession of the authors. 

The following story, the authenticity of which cannot now be 
verified, has been related many times by descendants of Michael and 
Zylphia (Winslow) Miller. They, with their six children, four boys and 
two girls, lived on a farm northeast of town at the location of the pres- 
ent home of William Karch. About the year 1859 Mr. Miller became ill 
and a Beech Creek doctor, who lived on upper Water Street was sum- 
moned. The doctor thoroughly examined the patient and left a supply 
of medicine. About an hour later the doctor came rushing back^ his 
horse and buggy moving at top speed. He hurriedly announced, "Do 
not give that medicine; I made a mistake." The family immediately 
responded, "We already gave it to him, and he's dead!" The widow 
Miller later married George Ruple, a native of New Jersey. In 1863 the 
Ruples had a son, whom they named for Civil War general, George B. 
McClellan. Zylphia got another shock from the announcement that her 
son, Eli, was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. The birth in June 1877 
of her son, William, when she was fifty-five, featured another major 
event in the life of Mrs. Ruple. 

Our area was not immune to the smallpox epidemic that occurred 
during the Winter of 1862-63. A well-preserved letter written on March 
1, 1863 by a local woman to her son who was serving in the Civil War, 
said in part, "Mrs. Mason, old Mr. Mason's woman, had smallpox 
about four weeks ago, and Dr. Rothrock was away. They sent for Mr. 
Leonard, who pronounced it smallpox. Then some of the neighbors got 
it, and also Mr. and Mrs. John Kunes and Mrs. Huff. Mrs. John 
Bridgens has been exposed to it." Mrs. Bridgens, mentioned here, was 
Mary Emma, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kunes. If she contracted the 
disease, she most certainly recovered, because she lived until 1926. 
However, Mr. Kunes died in August of that year, likely from the effects 
of the disease, and Mr. Bridgens's younger brother, Marcus, and a 
niece, Lena Mae Bonsell, died at that time. 

In a letter dated March 29 the above mother wrote, "If you come 
home I advise you not to stop at Milton or Williamsport on account of 
smallpox." Earlier, on January 6, this same mother had written, "The 
smallpox is in Eagleville again so I don't like to go to church." Records 
show that two weeks afterward John and Hannah (Longshore) Ligget 
lost their only son, John R., age four; the following week they lost their 


only daughter, Laura, age two. Smallpox was likely the cause. The Lig- 
gets had built and lived for many years in the house on Water Street 
next to Dr. Rothrock. This house is presently occupied by Pauline 
(Shuttleworth) Masden, widow of LeRoy. Mr. Ligget, who was a long- 
time local justice of the peace, built the cluster of buildings that stood 
in the triangle across from the present post office. The squire, a native 
of Liberty Township, died in ,1914, three years after the death of his 
wife, a native of Nashville, Ohio. He willed the triangle properties to 
his favorite lodge, The Improved Order of Red Men. His death brought 
an end in this area of a name that had been very popular ever since the 
first Liggets came from Virginia many years earlier, accompanied by 
some of their slaves. It should be mentioned that at least one Ligget, 
Fisher, volunteered and fought to free all slaves. 

Records reveal that some sort of epidemic may have plagued our area 
a few years earlier. In 1855 Richard and Agnes (Nancarrow) Gummo, 
natives of England, lost four children, ages four to ten, within a span of 
two weeks. These deaths followed the loss of a child two years earlier. 
The Gummo farm was on the dividing line between Beech Creek and 
Bald Eagle Townships, with the house being in one township and the 
barn in the other. The boundary actually passed through the center of 
their spring, permitting one to obtain a good cold drink from whichever 
township he chose. 

Rebecca (Clark) Winslow died at age 40 on November 2, 1877, and 
was buried at the Blanchard Church of Christ cemetery beside her hus- 
band John, who had died more than two years earlier. On December 7, 
1877 the Democratic Watchman, a Bellefonte newspaper, carried an 
account written at Beech Creek, regarding the raising of the body of 
Mrs. Winslow. An autopsy had been ordered by Clinton County of- 
ficials because of the suspicion that an illegal operation may have 
caused her death. The re-digging was under the supervision of county 
officials, who, late in the morning, retired to the Eagleville Hotel to 
mark time and have lunch while the grave diggers were completing 
their task. Around noon time the diggers surfaced the body and left for 
their homes, leaving the coffin unattended. When the officials returned 
to claim the body they discovered that several curious boys had come 
upon the scene and made their own inspection. A later edition of the 
same newspaper carried an account of a guilty verdict against an area 
doctor for an illegal operation. The verdict was being appealed by the 
doctor, who seemed to have the support of a large number of citizens. 
No effort was made by the authors of this history to determine if the 
two incidents had any connection. 

Daniel B. Malone, a grandson of Revolutionary War soldier, Richard 
Malone, and, himself, a Civil War veteran, lived with his third wife, 


Ruth (Yarnell) Zimmerman Malone, just south of the old crossroads in 
the house now occupied by the Frank Meskell family. One day in late 
October, 1898 Joseph W. Merrey, who lived on Maple Avenue, hitched 
his team to the family carriage and was about to climb inside when the 
horses became very frightened, possibly by a passing NYC train. They 
suddenly took off down the road at high speed leaving Mr. Merrey 
behind. When reaching the crossroads they turned toward Bald Eagle 
Creek, and were immediately spied by Mr. Malone, who immediately 
sensed what had happened and decided to do something. While run- 
ning through the garden area at the south side of his house to reach the 
road and stop or head off the horses, Mr. Malone fell to the ground, and 
consequently the horses kept running. After crossing the bridge the 
team and a PRR train reached the crossing at exactly the same time. 
Both horses were killed and the carriage was destroyed. However, the 
most unfortunate part of the whole episode is the fact that Mr. Malone 
had suffered a heart attack and died on the spot where he fell. 

Census records for the year 1810 indicate that Mathias Richards had 
died about the year 1807 and his widow, Elizabeth, was in charge of 
their combined farm and distillery operation. Assessment records of 
that period reveal additional and interesting information. In 1804 Mr. 
Richards had one slave. At the time of his death he had three slaves. By 
1811 Mrs. Richards had reduced the slave holdings to one female 
valued at forty dollars, which required a tax payment of twenty cents. 
Previously printed historical accounts tell that in 1820 the wife of 
Thomas Holland (Hollen) disappeared from their farm home near the 
head of Masden Hollow, and that she was never heard from again. 
Records show that Nancy, a later wife of Mr. Holland, died in 1845 at 
age fifty-six, and there may have been at least one subsequent wife. 

As stated elsewhere Rebecca Clark, wife of James Clark, was a 
daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Moore) Quigley. Careful research 
indicates that Rebecca had a sister, Margaret,' the wife of William 
Counsil, who was bom locally to John and Rhoda (David) Counsil on 
September 30, 1815. Other children of Nicholas Quigley were Ellen 
Eliza, who married George Wensel and James Quigley, who married 
Catharine Miller, and later Hannah Rutland, who still later became 
the third wife of Levi Rupert. On May 18, 1861 James Clark and Wil- 
liam Counsil were hunting in the mountains north of town. Mr. Clark's 
gun was accidentally discharged killing Counsil instantly. In addition 
to his wife, Margaret, Mr. Counsil was survived by sons, Martin, 
Stewart, Irvin Q. and George. At that particular time Mr. Clark's own 
family was complete except for his son, James Monroe Clark, born July 
29 of that same year. 

In the Fall of 1912 James Scott DeHaas, son of Charles Jacob and 


Mary (Gardner) DeHaas, was enjoying his first year of big game 
hunting at Beech Creek. Mistaken for a bear the fourteen-year-old boy 
was shot and killed at Jose Valley, north of town. James Scott, a 
grandson of James Riley DeHaas and his first wife, Mary (Bechdel) 
DeHaas, and of Scott and Lydia (Graham) Gardner, carried the names 
of both his grandfathers. A near-parallel of this accident in 1917 took 
the life of Edward Johnson, age 43, son of William and Emily (Mapes) 
Johnson. Grandparents were Nathan Johnson and his first wife, Rebec- 
ca (Reeder) Johnson, and Edward and Eliza (Locke) Mapes. Funeral 
services for young DeHaas and Mr. Johnson, both then out-of-town 
residents, were held locally and each was buried at Hays-Fearon 
cemetery among earlier ancestors. 

As late as 1863 our ancestors were still living by rather primitive 
methods. A letter written from a local farm home that year said in part, 
"I am finishing this letter by candlelight." This, of course, did not im- 
ply that the electricity had been shut off, or even that the kerosene sup- 
ply had been exhausted. It simply meant that darkness had overtaken 
the writer and she was finishing the letter by their most common 
method of illumination. 

The Evan and Phoebe Ashton family left Beech Creek very hurriedly 
in March, 1863. One report said, "they disappeared like a skift of snow 
at harvest time with a large sum of money, possibly twelve to fifteen 
thousand dollars, that belonged to Mr. Ashton's employer, Buckley, 
Saylor and Company." 

A fire that destroyed Keyes Fanning Mill factory and Halls Planing 
Mill in 1885 may have been our worst ever. A pumper had been hurried- 
ly sent from Lock Haven on a railroad flat car. In descending a ramp at 
the local station the pumper went out of control, killing one man and 
critically injuring two others. Whether the two injured men survived 
was not known when the story was published in the Philadelphia Times 
on April 29 of that year. 

A Main Street fire in 1889 burned the post office and Albert 
Bergner's store. A fire in January, 1899 burned Henry Berry's shoe shop 
and Richard BerryhnTs storeroom. At 2 a.m. on January 4, 1903 a fire 
broke out in the Edward Sykes store on Main Street. In addition to the 
Sykes store, a former Keyes building, it bumed the barber shop of Al 
Williams, the Williams store building, the McKean building and John 
McGhee's store and tenant house. Mr. Sykes, who then established his 
store on Vesper Street was followed at that location by his brother, 
Frank, and later his son, Milton, whose business was destroyed by fire 
around 1930. 

At about ten o'clock on an Autumn morning in 1925 the female 
members of the Edwin R. Reed family, living at the corner on Main and 


Grant Streets, came running into their front yard, wringing their hands 
and screaming for help. Clouds of smoke were pouring from the Reed 
Candy Factory at the rear of their lot. Within about twenty minutes the 
Mill Hall fire truck rolled into town and was flagged-down at Grant 
Street by William Fudge waving his handkerchief. The hose was drop- 
ped and the pumper proceeded to the grist mill bridge and went into 
action. However, it was too late to save any part of the building or its 
contents, which included two trucks. Nevertheless, the barns on the ad- 
joining properties of Lyle McKean and John Earon were saved. 

One person died and seventeen were left homeless as the result of an 
early morning fire at the eastern edge of town on December 10, 1937. A. 
Dale Baney succumbed to bums caused by the blaze, which destroyed 
the Baney and Ben Bitner homes. These houses were the inner two of a 
row of four houses, familiarly known in an earlier day as the Joe 
Masden properties. 

Over the years there has been a noticable change in the method of 
selecting names for babies. At one time it was not uncommon to assign 
the newborn the exact same name of a deceased older brother or sister. 
There were two instances of this in the family of Joseph M. and Janetta 
(David) Smith. Many girls received the same name as their mother. In 
contrast to today our forerunners selected more names from among 
ancestors and relatives, more from the Bible, more from U.S. presi- 
dents and army generals, and more from ministers of the gospel. Girls 
often received such names as Love, Charity, Gladness, True, Silence, 
and Temperance. In one noticable case a girl was named Alabama. 
Two children were found with the name Orange. A daughter born to 
James and Ellen (Baird) David on July 4, 1850 was named 
Independence Virginia. Another very appropriate name was that of 
Centennial Haagen, born to John and Fayetta (Brungard) Haagen in 
the year 1876. We must remember that in those days there were no 
movie and TV personalities, and very few sports stars and glamour 
magazines to provide a source of names. 

In 1889 John Mapes, a son of Edward and Eliza (Locke) Mapes, his 
wife, Mary J. (Clark) Mapes, the daughter of John T. and Mary 
(Boone) Clark, and their children boarded their houseboat for a new 
home elsewhere. The boat, which had been in readiness awaiting high 
water, carried their necessary belongings, including a cow. Witnesses to 
the boat as it moved past Beech Creek always retained a memory of the 
cow peering through the stable door at the rear. The Mapes family 
floated to the Chesapeake Bay and eventually settled in North 

In January, 1905 Samuel Bitner, young son of Oliver and Cora (Mor- 
timer) Bitner, had both legs cut off near the hips by an NYC freight 


train. Sammy was "cuffing" a ride when his footing slipped, landing 
him on the track beneath the wheels. In March of that year Sammy was 
returned to his home from the Lock Haven Hospital. 

An incident that took place in a deep well at the Samuel Gardner 
residence on upper Water Street on Monday, July 10, 1911 brought a 
Carnegie Medal to a Beech Creek man. The life of a Blanchard well dig- 
ger, Lemuel Clark, was saved by the heroism of Frank A. Kunes, a son 
of Samuel H. and Clarissa (Masden) Kunes, who lived nearby. Mr. 
Kunes, after being alerted by his neighbor, Mrs. Mae (McCarthy) Mil- 
ler, hurried to the scene and succeeded in doing what several others had 
attempted, but failed. He quickly descended into the well, fastened a 
rope around the unconscious body of Mr. Clark, and taking advantage 
of his own robust physique, hoisted Clark to the surface. The task of 
Mr. Kunes was compounded by the fact that he, too, was somewhat 
overcome by the lack of oxygen deep in the well. Immediate treatment 
by a doctor and another medically trained man standing by led to the 
complete recovery of Mr. Clark. In 1933, at age 74, and still in apparent 
good Health, Mr. Kunes lost his own life after being struck by an 
automobile on the main street in Lock Haven. He had just come from 
Avis where he had witnessed another win by his hometown baseball 

In 1890 James R. Walz, a local bridge worker, lost his life when a 
passing train caused supporting timbers to be dislodged. James was a 
son of John G. Walz, a local saddler and a brother of Warren Walz, a 
local tailor. He left a widow and two young children. In a bridge acci- 
dent in 1906 James A. Hunter, age 46, a highly-skilled structural steel 
worker who lived nearby in Liberty Township, lost his life. He was sur- 
vived by his widow, Clara (Nestlerode) Hunter and a young family. A 
son of John and Frederica (Smith) Hunter, he had grown up in our 
Beech Creek area. 

In August, 1920 Everett Hall Packer, a son of Asher and Nancy 
(Hall) Packer, lost his life in a fall from the Beech Creek school 
building. Mr. Packer, who was doing work on the steeple, lost his 
footing and landed on the stone walk below. A short time before his fall 
Packer had agreed with a niece living closeby that it was a dangerous 
place for a seventy-four-year-old man to be working. He explained, 
however, that he needed the money. Everett and his wife, Esther, a 
daughter of Jesse Gladfelter and his second wife, Esther (Keister) 
Gladfelter, are buried at the Church of Christ cemetery in unmarked 

On May 26, 1916 a tragic accident occurred at the Pennsylvania 
Railroad crossing adjacent to the Beech Creek station. Simeon Maines, 
the station agent, was driving his 1910 model Maxwell touring car and 


had reached the crossing just ahead of the fast moving flyer, but his car 
stalled on the track. The car was completely demolished and Maines 
was instantly killed. Charles A. Hayes of Howard, who was riding with 
Mr. Maines, jumped clear of the vehicle in time to escape injury. Mr. 
Maines, who was born June 27, 1882 in Clearfield County, left a widow, 
the former Clara Batschelet, and six children counting one that was 
born several months later. For many years afterward the mangled 
automobile lay in public view at the old auto factory on Main Street. 
Mr. Hayes later married Lola Bitner, daughter of George and Elizabeth 
(DeLong) Bitner, and lived here. In early 1923 Hayes had another very 
narrow escape. While lending his assistance at a burning double house 
on Maple Avenue a brick fell from a chimney and struck him on the 
forehead. Fortunately it was a glancing blow, but it left a scar that Mr. 
Hayes carried the rest of his life. This particular house was the home of 
the families of Harry and Mary (Smith) Masden and Luther and Mabel 
(Boone) Glossner. 

On an afternoon in September, 1913 Leonard James McGhee, a son 
of Oscar and Jemima (Haagen) McGhee, was killed by a train. Young 
McGhee had walked up the railroad track from his farm home and 
crossed the "iron bridge" over Bald Eagle Creek. His mission was to as- 

Head-on collision of P.R.R. trains at McGhee's farm in 1916. Two were 


sist his younger sister, Sarah, a pupil at Haagen School, in crossing the 
bridge, a twice-daily chore of the sixteen-year-old boy. While sitting in 
waiting near the track, Leonard apparently fell asleep. When aroused 
by the oncoming "Chemung," a special private passenger train, he 
raised his head, which was struck. Incidentally, in 1978 the previously 
abandoned iron bridge was purchased by Howard McGhee, son of 
Leonard's brother Chester, and the present occupant of the McGhee 
farm house. 

An early drowning was that of Peter Uhl, age 29, who drowned in 
Beech Creek on June 13, 1864. He was a son of Peter Uhl of Marsh 
Creek. Another drowning in 1864 took the life of four-year-old George 
Boyd Quigley. He was the son of James and Catharine (Miller) 
Quigley. It was his grandfather, Michael Miller, who had died five 
years before from having been given the wrong medicine by his doctor. 
Little Boyd had been named for his uncle George Boyd Quigley, who, 
with his wife, Matilda, later lived at the location of the Wesleyan 
Church, parsonage. Incidentally, the elder Boyd, who should have been 
mentioned in an earlier paragraph as an additional son of Nicholas and 
Eliza, had another nephew as a namesake. He was George Boyd 
Wensel, son of George and Ellen Eliza (Quigley) Wensel. The Wensel 
boy died at age thirteen in 1863, likely of smallpox. This particular dis- 
ease is suggested because our area had a serious epidemic of the pox at 
that time. Furthermore, the Wensels were close neighbors of the Lig- 
gets who had lost two children several weeks earlier. 

In August, 1902 Floyd Swartz, five-year-old son of Marion and Laura 
Ann (Jonas) Swartz, drowned in Beech Creek stream near his home. In 
the Summer of 1936 Billy Trept of Shamokin, young grandson of Mrs. 
Clara (Knarr) Hevner, drowned at the old swimming hole near the 
mouth of Beech Creek. On August 27, 1963 a double drowning near the 
Beech Creek bridge took the lives of two young boys; they were Billy 
Merrill, age 9, son of Rev. and Mrs. William R. Merrill, and Billy's 
cousin, Dale Horton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Horton of Sayre. 

James "Peg" Rupert, son of Theodore and Elizabeth (Rine) Rupert, 
had survived several encounters with freight trains before being killed 
by an automobile. The results of Peg's dealings with trains ranged from 
slight injuries to loss of a leg. Leonard Counsil, son of Warren and Alice 
(James) Counsil, was much less fortunate, having been killed in his 
first encounter with a train, Leonard, generally known at "Yardley," 
had almost reached his destination when struck. In 1919 Jesse Rupert, 
age 18, son of Harry and Susan (Nestl erode) Rupert, was killed when he 
attempted a freight train ride from Mill Hall. In 1935 Clarence "Miley" 
Coffey was killed by a freight train. Mr. Coffey left a widow, Amanda 
(Casher) Coffey and a young family. 


On April 15, 1939, just two days short of his forty-seventh birthday, 
Walter Glock lost his life when his truck was struck by a train at Mill 
Hall. Walter, a son of Conrad and Fannie (Miller) Glock, left a widow, 
the former Ellen DeLong and a young son, Clair. On November 25, 1944 
Eva (Streck) Renninger, a daughter of John and Sarah (Llewellyn) 
Streck, was killed while walking along the track near her home. Eva's 
husband, Robert, while a locomotive engineer, had lost a leg in a train 
wreck. In 1901 David Miller, a railroad employee, and the son of 
Carpenter and Nancy Jane (Bowmaster) Miller, was killed while on 
duty. At about that same time Percy Smith, also a railroad employee, 
and a son of Charles and Caroline Rebecca (Graham) Smith, lost his 
life in a fall from the top of a box- car. Another accidental death on the 
railroad was that of Harry Heverly, son of Joseph and Susan (Bow- 
master) Heverly in 1905. 

An industrial accident took the life of Alvan Streck in 1906. He was a 
son of John and Sarah (Llewellyn) Streck. In 1914 Elliot Gardner, a son 
of Joseph and Amanda (Bickel) Gardner, was killed in a mine accident. 
Elliot left a widow, Ethel (DeLong) Gardner (later Stevenson) and four 
small children. James Swartz, son of Henry and Mary (Confer) Swartz, 
was likewise killed by a mine cave-in in 1922. James's accident occur- 
red only a short time after his marriage to widow Susan (McKean) 
Fudge. Records show that Sudie's first husband died out of town in 
1907, possibly in an accident. 

In 1924 a head-on collision between a New York Central train and a 
motor car carrying the Mapes station track maintenance crew resulted 
in one death. When the men on the car suddenly realized that a crash 
was imminent each of them, except William Bartley was able to jump 
to safety. The impact threw Mr. Bartley to the top of the locomotive, 
killing him instantly. On March 2, 1952 Arnold Killinger, accompanied 
by his young son, was driving over Hubbard's crossing, about one 
hundred yards from the Killinger home. The car was struck by a train 
killing little Kenneth, age five. 

In the early 1930's a wreck on the NYCRR at Mapes Station left two 
dead and others injured. Two boys from a Hahn family, living at the 
old Brady farmhouse nearby, not realizing the seriousness of such an 
act, threw the switch leading to Mapes siding. By the time the engineer 
on a fast-moving westbound freight train realized he was being side- 
tracked, it was too late and the locomotive crashed into a string of 
freight cars loaded with steel rails. The fireman and brakeman were 
killed and the engineer was seriously injured. 

Deaths caused by miscellaneous accidents include those of William 
Shearer, son of Lemuel and Catharine (Wensel) Shearer, in 1907; Terry 
Glossner, son of Frederick and Mary Delinda (Bitner) Glossner, in 


1915; Dean Ellery Peters, son of Ellery and Blanche (Phillips) Peters, 
in 1939; Harry Heverly, the son of Wesley and Sarah (Kunes) Heverly, 
and the husband of Jeannette (Lindsey) Heverly, in 1955; and Elmer 
Peters, the son of Elmer and Emma (Scantlin) Peters, and the husband 
of Marie (Mann) Peters, in 1974. 

After suffering for a number of years from a broken back received in a 
fall from a scaffold, Carl Heimer died in 1971. He was a son of Charles 
and Minnie (Whitehouse) Heimer, and the husband of Ethel (Phillips) 
Heimer. On June 24, 1941, while building a porch and front 
entranceway to the second floor apartment of the McKean building on 
Main Street, William Eaton of Blanchard fell to his death. Mr. Eaton, 
who was working with his father, George Eaton, lost his footing and 
landed on his head on the concrete floor below. Mr. Eaton's wife, Mae, 
a daugher of J. Irvin and Mabel (Hoffman) DeLong, was raised at 
Beech Creek. 

In April, 1944 Doris Rowe, ten-year-old daughter of Charles and 
Hannah (Gum mo) Rowe, was killed by a car while crossing the main 
highway at Haagen School, where she was a pupil. In 1946 Russell Mc- 
Closkey, son of Alvin and Effie (Packer) McCloskey, and his wife, Zella 
(Jodun) McCloskey, were both killed in an automobile accident just 
east of town. Another instance of double deaths occurred farther east 
on the same highway in 1960. D. Ross Bitner, son of David and Julia 
(Rupert) Bitner, and Richard Conway, son of Ellsworth and Rhoda 
(Fye) Conway, were killed when their automobile hit the side of a 
bridge. Additional highway deaths include: Glenn Miller, the son of 
Owen and Irene (Scantlin) Miller, and the husband of Dorothy (Bitner) 
Miller; Floyd Haines, the son of Fount and Mary (Temons) Haines, 
and the husband of Doris (Confer) Haines; William Dunlap, young son 
of Raymond and Bessie (Hunter) Dunlap; Paul Bowers, son of Paul and 
Evelyn (Kline) Bowers; and more recently, Vaughn Phillips, the son of 
Amos and Edwina (Scantlin) Phillips, and the husband of Helen 
(Kline) Phillips. 

A tragedy that occurred on a dark, rainy night in September, 1971 
will not be soon forgotten. Richard Etters, son of Stanley and Edna 
(Bechdel) Etters, had arranged to pick up two young football hopefuls 
after their practice session at Bald Eagle-Nittany High School. The 
boys were Billy Aurand, age 12, the son of William and Kathryn Ann 
(Bechdel) Aurand, and Rickey Rupert, age 13, the son of Claude and 
Genevieve (Geise) Rupert. All three were killed when, because of poor 
visibility and slippery roads the Etters car and another vehicle collided 
on a hill east of town. Mr. Etters left a widow, the former Carol Stiver, 
now Bliler, and two young daughters. 
We have had a number of military casualties in addition to those 


mentioned in another chapter. Benjamin Franklin Ligget, son of Ben- 
jamin and Sarah (Adams) Ligget, was killed in the Spanish-American 
War and is likely buried in an unmarked grave in David cemetery. Kill- 
ed in action in World War II were the following: Paul Rupert, son of 
Fred and Ella (Mann) Rupert; Clarence Coffey, son of Clarence and 
Amanda (Casher) Coffey, and the husband of Pauline (Eaton) Coffey, 
now Leathers; and William Shearer, son of Frank and Lizzie (Robin- 
son) Shearer. Two World War I soldiers, although not killed in action, 
died before returning home. They were C. Rudolph Shilling, son of 
Thomas and Mary (Wolfe) Shilling, and Edward Zerbe, the son of 
Henry and Lydia Zerbe, and the husband of Ellen (Batschelet) Zerbe, 
later Swartz. 

On June 8, 1892 an unusual type of accident took the life of fifty -six- 
year-old Sarah (Brungard) Haagen, the wife of Saul Haagen. Sarah 
and her daughter, Minerva, one of eleven children, were traveling the 
mountain road from Mill Hall to their farm home in a horse-drawn car- 
riage. The horses suddenly became frightened and broke into a fast gal- 
lop. They pulled the carriage over a pile of rocks, throwing Mrs. Haagen 
from the carriage and causing her death. Mr. Haagen died on 
November, 19, 1899 while visiting his oldest son, John, in Washington 

In late 1919 undertaker Edgar Thompson Bechdel purchased his first 
motor-driven hearse. It was brought from Cincinnati by his son, 
Claude. According to newspaper accounts at that time, it was driven 
the entire distance of 550 miles without a mishap. The new vehicle was 
then in readiness for the upcoming funerals of William DeHaas, Joseph 
Brady, Mrs. Charles (Florence) White and Jonathan From, in this 
order. However, the old horse-drawn carriage was kept in reserve for 
days when bad roads precluded the use of the new conveyance. 

When just a boy, age about twelve, Donald Rupert, son of Joseph G. 
and Tillie (Heimer) Rupert, received, endorsed and cashed his first 
check. The check, from New York Central Railroad, was an award for 
reporting a defective rail joint. Shortly thereafter Don, accompanied by 
his grandmother, made a trip to Lock Haven, where he spent the 
money for his first long-pants suit. 

A confrontation between a local physician and a local German-born 
merchant at Cox's barber shop in June, 1917 was reported in area news- 
papers at the time. According to accounts patriotism was running high 
in the community and Dr. George H. Tibbins, along with eight other 
locals, had just volunteered for World War I service. The doctor was so 
enraged by remarks made by the merchant that he sprang from the 
chair where he was being shaved, and in rapid succession, placed 
punches to the nose of the German sympathizer. Following the incident 



local people placed American flags on the store of the German with 
threats that any attempt to remove them would lead to serious trouble 
for him. 

Three months before the national census was taken in 1870 a son was 
born to Casper and Philomena "Phoebe" (Eckert) Peter in Beech Creek 
Township. In 1949 this son, William C, was named "National Father 
of the Year." This honor gave him nationwide publicity. Mr. Peter and 
his first wife, Emma (Gummo) Peter, a daughter of John E. and 
Elizabeth (Stephen) Gummo, had seven children; Mr. Peter and his 
second wife, Mary Mae (Walker) Myers Peter, a daughter of Cyrus Jef- 
frey and Mary J. (McCloskey) Walker, had twelve children. Eighteen 
of these nineteen grew to adulthood, and most of them had large 
families of their own. Since this country has had many large families, 
especially in Mr. Peter's day, it seems appropriate to conclude that the 
size of his family was only one factor in this citation. His was a family 
where industriousness and thrift were conveyed from the parents to the 
children. Each learned that self reliance was best for the individual and 
best for the country. In short, Mr. Peter and his wives provided a 
wholesome and inspiring family background. Mr. Peter died on 
December 12, 1955 at age 85. Fortunately our area, like many other 
farming areas of Pennsylvania, was settled by hardworking people of 
the type of Mr. Peter, mostly of German descent. 

In addition to the sources previously outlined there was also a 
tendency to name newborns for the doctor who brought them into the 
world. Because of the general popularity of such names as William, 
Henry and Joseph there is no way to determine how many babies may 
have been named for Doctors William P. Rothrock, Henry H. Mothers- 
baugh or Joseph E. Tibbins. Yet there is one certainty — Joseph Tib- 
bins Gunsallus, son of David and Lydia (Robb) Gunsallus. Tibbins, as 
he was always known, married Edith Williams, daughter of Henry C. 
B. Williams and his first wife, Albina (Brickley) Williams. A very glar- 
ing example is the name, Saylor, given to many baby boys in honor of 
Dr. Saylor J. McGhee, who incidentally, had been named for Samuel 
Saylor, an industrialist who came to our area in the middle 1800's. 
Another popular given name was that of McDowell, which likewise 
needs little explanation. Those of us who did not know Dr. P. McDowell 
Tibbins, have, no doubt, heard of him. 

The name of Tibbins Gunsallus in the above paragraph is a reminder 
of the general mispronunciation and incorrect spelling of some of our 
family names over the years. The Gunsallus name has been pronounced 
as though spelled "Kunsawl." The late Ira Gunsallus of Liberty 
Township was a son of James and Sarah (Masden) Gunsallus, and an 
uncle of Tibbins Gunsallus. When Ira and Abigail Lucas of Unionville, 

Centre County were married on January 14, 1868 his name was listed in 
the Centre County newspapers as "Console." In 1870 Robert and 
Nancy Gunsallus, children of John and Martha (Linn) Gunsallus, were 
staying temporarily with their uncle and aunt, Edward and Elizabeth 
(Linn) DeHaas in Beech Creek. Their names were listed by the census 
taker as "Consol." In 1860 John and Sarah (Llewellyn) Streck were liv- 
ing in the mining settlement of Rock Cabin north of Beech Creek. Their 
home was very close to the home of John Reville, for whom the later 
community of Reveltown was named. Also living close by were Sarah's 
parents, John and Catharine Llewellyn. The census taker listed the 
Streck name as "Striker." In 1870 the census enumerator listed the 
name as "Strick." To this day it is not uncommon for members of this 
clan to be referred to as "Strikes." The Heverly name was long 
pronounced as though there was no "H." Our first Heverly, who had 
settled in this area before 1820 had actually changed his name from 
Everly to Heverly prior to his coming here. That the prior spelling was a 
factor in the mispronunciation seems questionable. 

Casper Peter came from Germany some time before 1860. To agree 
with the pronunciation and spelling of the name generally applied by 
the public many of Casper's descendants have added "s" to the end of 
the name. Incidentally a Casper Peters came from Germany before 
1820 and settled in Boggs Township, Centre County. Whether this 
Casper had added an "s" after arriving here is not known. Records 
reveal that as early as the 1830's, and likely earlier, our Quigley 
families were referred to as "Quiggle," a spelling and pronunciation 
that had been adopted by some of their cousins elsewhere. Our census 
taker in 1900, Robert Clark, himself a Quigley descendant, gave com- 
fort to those who misspelled and mispronounced the name. Mr. Clark 
listed both his uncle James Quigley and his aunt Matilda Quigley, 
widow of Boyd, as "Quigle." However, judging by his spelling of the 
names of the others it may have been merely a case of poor spelling. 
There are various instances of early families acceding to a change in the 
spelling of their names to agree with spellings given by employers, as- 
sessors, tax collectors, census takers, store keepers, etc. For reasons un- 
known several families who descended from Andrew and Martha Linn, 
both buried at Hays-Fearon cemetery, changed their name to "Lynn." 
In more recent years some of the descendants of John and Susanna 
(Nestlerode) Bitner, both buried in the Nestlerode cemetery in Liberty 
Township, have added an extra "t." Might this be in respect to their 
early ancestor, Hans Gorg Boettner, who had migrated from Germany 
either prior to or after his marriage to Elizabeth Hershbarger! 

The burning of the Beech Creek railroad station of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Company on August 1, 1924 was generally viewed as a case of 



arson. The company immediately set up improvised quarters in an old 
box car. However, local benefits were thereafter reduced to passenger 
and mail service only. A new, full-size, manned depot was then built at 
the Eagleville stop, and some years later local service was discon- 
tinued entirely. 

In 1965 Guy A. Stull, a son of Frank and Grace (Hoffman) Stull and 
the husband of Hilda (Myers) Stull, lost his life while at work. When a 
crane broke he was crushed beneath a load of steel at the Jersey Shore 
Steel Company. In that same year Guy's nephew, Gerry, son of Bernice 
(Stull) Hedges, was killed in an automobile accident, and his brother, 
Clifford, died suddenly. The death of the mother one year earlier, the 
death of the father one year later and the death of their aunt, Eva 
(Marr) Stull, in that same year made the mid-1960's stand out as a 
tragic period for the Stull family. In September, 1944 Harold H. Miller, 
a cousin of the Stull brothers, became a World War II casualty while 
serving with the U. S. Paratroopers. Harold was a son of Omar Miller, 
who now lives at Beech Creek, and the late Mae (Stull) Miller. The 
Millers were former residents of Blanchard. 

Edward Scantlin and his wife, Ellen Susan, a daughter of G. Fulton 
and Emeline (Bitner) Miller, operated a farm on the ridges north of 
town. In May, 1895 Mr. Scantlin was killed when kicked by a horse. He 
was survived by his widow, seven daughters, including Edwinna, only 
one day old, and one son, Loren, age two. Newspaper accounts later 

Traffic was maintained on the old bridge while the present bridge at the 
edge of town was being constructed. 


that year told of the voluntary assemblage of neighboring farmers to 
perform the harvesting chores. Silas Bitner, son of Abraham and Mary 
(Leathers) Bitner, was a former occupant of this same farm. In May, 
1877 Mr. Bitner, age thirty-eight, the husband of the former Lavina 
Leonard, died from poison which entered his system while applying 
toxic spray. Three of the Bitners' seven children had died in the five 
years preceding Mr. Bitner's death and two more died in the seven 
months following. 

Frank Furl, son of J. Thomas and R. Jane "Jennie" (Ammerman) 
Furl, a locomotive fireman, died at age 24 on April 29, 1902 from burns 
he received from a steam pipe explosion. 

In July, 1971 Carl Mann, young son of Walter J. and Shirley 
(Spangler) Mann, was killed when he ran into the path of an 
automobile just east of the borough. 

Our community received a tremendous shock on Wednesday, July 2, 
1980. Around noontime on that day Bruce A. Bechdel, age 44, son of 
Dorothy (Bechdel) Bechdel and the late Claude H. Bechdel, was struck 
and killed by a truck. Bruce, who had operated the Bechdel Funeral 
Home following the death of his father in 1963, was hit while standing 
along the main highway east of town near an old farm home he was 
restoring. At the time of his death Bruce was leading a very busy and 
useful life. In addition to his undertaking duties he was a full-time high 
school teacher. His extra activities were directed chiefly toward his in- 
terests in history and antiques. He was president of the Clinton County 
Historical Society and was serving a number of other organizations in 
various capacities. In addition to his mother and wife, the former Helen 
Fontana, he was survived by two sons and one daughter. Just two days 
prior to his death Bruce had made plans with the authors of this history 
for a visit to the old, dilapidated Nestlerode Cemetery in Liberty 
Township. Having just learned of the existence of this cemetery he 
wanted to view the old markers. This alone is enough to confirm his in- 
terest in area history. 

At noontime on September 19, 1929, when cashier J. A. Haugh was 
alone at the Beech Creek Bank, three men, already familiar with the 
layout, descended upon the bank in a daring daylight robbery. Mr. 
Haugh was held at gunpoint while the robbers scooped up the money; 
then he was locked inside the vault while they made their getaway. 
Mr. Haugh soon escaped from the vault by manipulating the controls 
from the inside. Suspecting that the trio was heading westward, he im- 
mediately alerted the Howard bank. Dr. George H. Tibbins, a member 
of our bank's first board, and a brother of its founder and president, Dr. 
P. McDowell Tibbins, was at the Howard bank when the call came in. 
Mr. Tibbins, being unsuccessful in stopping the robbers as they sped 


through Howard, immediately solicited the aid of Frank Williams, a 
brother of Beech Creek's bank director, Shuman S. Williams. Surmis- 
ing the route they might take, Tibbins and Williams took a short cut to 
a point on the highway leading from Bald Eagle Valley to Snow Shoe. 
As the robbers passed their hiding place they fired a shot to disable 
their vehicle. Either from damages inflicted upon a tire or the steering 
mechanism, or merely from the unsuspected gunshot itself, the driver 
lost control. The car crashed into the side of a concrete bridge. The 
driver (Delaney) was fatally injured. The other two (Shope and Kline) 
were forced to flee on foot. Concealed in Delaney's pockets and clothing 
was found $12,000. The remaining $270 of their loot was recovered that 
evening when Shope and Kline were found hiding in a railway boxcar at 
Milesburg. Delaney died at Bellefonte hospital that same evening. 

The late Joseph Allen, a highly-respected army major, who lived last 
in Prince George County, Virginia, often recalled being questioned 
regarding the Beech Creek Bank robbery. On that particular day Mr. 
Allen was hitchhiking through our valley on his way from Fort Sam 
Houston, Texas to his home in New York State. The police, in their 
search for the two men who had fled, were not overlooking any leads, 
and Mr. Allen, strolling along the highway, became a suspect. After 
routine questioning he was released. Mr. Allen, a friend of Frederick 
and Doris (Bechdel) McDermott, died in early February, 1978. 

The bridge over Bald Eagle Creek at the mouth of Beech Creek, a 
huge wooden structure without cover, was washed out in 1876. It has 
been reported that in that same flood most of the lumber at the local 
saw mills was washed away, several houses were destoyed and a child 
was drowned. In 1877 a steel bridge was built to replace the bridge that 
was destroyed the previous year. In February, 1975 this steel bridge fell 
in during a period of high water. The collapse was the result of an un- 
dermining of the first pier caused by the onrushing waters of the fast- 
flowing Beech Creek stream. Prior to the construction of Foster Joseph 
Sayers Dam a higher level of water in Bald Eagle had slowed the flow of 
Beech Creek's waters long before reaching the pier. The disappearance 
in recent years of the build-up, or delta in the middle of the stream at 
its mouth was a clear indication of the increased velocity at that point. 
However, it appears that nobody was aware of the erosion beneath the 

On a bright Saturday morning in the Spring of 1978 the home of 
John and Helen (Streck) Miller on east Main Street was the scene of 
benevolence in action. Shortly after daybreak a group of men, about 
half of whom were sons and grandsons of James and Olive (Ellenberger) 
McKivison, had assembled at this residence. Their purpose was to 
place new roof shingles, an undertaking that Mr. Miller, then suffering 


an illness from which he never did recover, had been deeply concerned. 
In spite of his condition, the sound of steady hammering was sweet 
music to Mr. Miller, who was very pateful for what was taking place. 
The entire job was completed by noontime and each of about twenty- 
two men should have had the feeling of providing more beneficence in 
a half day than many of us bestow in a year. 

In many ways our area benefits from the advances in technology and 
science and the planning that have been made in the last half century. 
Today we watch happenings around the world from our livingroom 
chair. We cook our meals on stoves that need no smoke stack. We 
refrigerate our foodstuffs without the need for an ice man. We use the 
old privy as a storage building if, perchance, it is still standing. We 
need to go only short distances to reach super highways and airports. 
However, conditions may have deteriorated in some respects. Fifty 
years ago the Philadelphia daily newspaper regularly reached town by 
railway express at 8:45 A. M. each day, Monday through Saturday, in- 
cluding all holidays. At that time a letter mailed to Mill Hall at 9:30 A. 
M. reached its destination one and one-half hours later. Even well after 
that time a house could be left unlocked day and night and even during 
brief absences with no fear of an intruder or robber. The tramp, on his 
endless journey, was served a meal on the doorstep, if not at the family 
table, with little or no apprehension on the part of anyone. Today 
anyone with the appearance and movement resembling a tramp must 
be viewed with suspicion. TIMES HAVE CHANGED FOR BETTER 


Chapter VIII 

Success Cases Among 
Our People 

In addition to those named elsewhere in this story, a number of our 
people have achieved success in one way or another. Henry C. Bol- 
linger, son of Christian and Eliza (Kirk) Bollinger reached the rank of 
colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War. Bollinger and his wife, 
Mary, a daughter of Joseph M. and Janetta (David) Smith, spent their 
latter years at Gettysburg, South Dakota. Dr. Britton Samuel Hall 
(1857-1894), son of Samuel and Sarah (McCloskey) Hall, became a 
highly regarded physician in the Lock Haven area before his untimely 
death. He is buried at Hays-Fearon Cemetery. Dr. Saylor J. McGhee, 
son of John and Julia (Harleman) McGhee, took a leading part in many 
Lock Haven civic, church and business activities, in addition to his 
busy medical practice. Saylor's nephew, Dr. Harrison J. McGhee 
(1888-1968), son of George C. and Minnie (Brady) McGhee, had a very 
similar career in Kane. The accomplishments of Dr. P. McDowell Tib- 
bins and his dedication to the community where he was born and 
reared, are extolled in other chapters of this story. The medical careers 
of Dr. Tibbins, his brother, Dr. George H. Tibbins, and their father, Dr. 
J. E. Tibbins are highlighted in chapter four. 

George F. Hess (1876-1959), son of George D. and Anna Frances 
(Furst) Hess, very ably served our community in more ways than this 
space can list. In 1898, following his graduation from Lafayette College, 
Mr. Hess assumed the position of local correspondent for the Lock 
Haven Express, relieving his father, who had performed the chore since 
1882. A collection of the Hess semi-weekly news items could very well 
serve, in itself, as a history of our area. During his time George F. Hess 
became the "Mr. Beech Creek," and a replacement for him has not yet 
come along. Jesse L. Brady (1862-1952) and Clarence A. Brady (1871- 
1947), sons of Joseph and Sarah (Bitner) Brady, became ministers of 
the Christian Church, with Jesse eventually settling in California and 
Clarence in Michigan. Nevin McCloskey (1894-1954), son of Harry L. 
and Clara (Gephart) McCloskey, served many years in various loca- 
tions as Methodist minister. Ira McCloskey, uncle of Nevin, and son of 


Abner and Abigail (Mason) McCloskey, made his mark in the 
educational field. In the 1890's Ira left his teaching position in Liberty 
Township to become the first principal of the Howard High School. He 
later became principal of Flemington High School, and still later began 
a long tenure as superintendent of Clinton County Schools. 

In 1895 Graffius Hubbard, son of Joseph Hubbard and his first wife, 
Harriet (Weaver) Hubbard, resigned his teaching position at Snow 
Shoe to become principal of the Patton, Pa. High School. While in the 
field of education Mr. Hubbard became a proficient orator and later 
served for many years as orator for the Clinton County Pomona Grange. 
Charlotte Hubbard, a daughter of Joseph and his second wife, Sarah 
(Packer) Hubbard, taking advantage of her musical talent became a 
highly-regarded piano instructor, first at Beech Creek and later at 
Jersey Shore. Sarah Hubbard was a daughter of Joseph and Margaret 
(Robb) Packer. Malcolm Johnson (1896-1976), son of G. Mack and 
Sadie (Miller) Johnson, became superintendent of mines for Harbison 
Walker Refractories at Monument. Following retirement he returned to 
farming in the Beech Creek area. The senior Mr. Johnson, a son of 
Nathan Johnson and his second wife, Mary Jane (DeHaas) Johnson, 
had been named for Civil War General George B. McClellan, but later 
shortened his name. 

In professional baseball Blaine W. Kunes, son of Frank and Carrie 
(Woodward) Kunes, was a long-time player in the St. Louis Cardinal 
organization, and later managed several minor league teams. Perry M. 
Mann (1914-1971), son of Frank and Anna (Dickey) Mann, was officer 
in charge of the Chambersburg barracks at the time of his retirement 
from the Pennsylvania State Police. Elwood L. Rohrbaugh, son of I. J. 
and Grace (Keiler) Rohrbaugh, recently retired as superintendent of 
Clearfield schools. Berwyn L. Miller, son of Charles W. and Mae (Mc- 
Carthy) Miller, held a number of important government positions prior 
to and following a brief tenure as controller in the Pennsylvania 
Department of Commerce. G. David Hess, son of George F. and Mary 
(Quigley) Hess has written and published several books of poems, some 
of which depict former residents, while others describe objects of in- 
terest within the community. In his 1979 book, "Woven Nights and 
Days," Mr. Hess dedicated the following poem to the authors of this 

Beech Creek's Four-Wheel-Drive and Four-Wheel-Steer Truck 
Eleven days before I got to Earth 
Upon May twenty-sixth, nineteen-fifteen, 
The Beech Creek Truck and Auto Company — 
Through stock sale for one hundred thousand grand, 


Financed to make the heavy-duty trucks 
Upon the space that Spotts's store takes up — 
Had one truck climb Lock Haven's courthouse steps 
To demonstrate its ruggedness and power, 
Photographed for a calendar to show. 
At least one other truck was done, a third, 
Perhaps, but never cars assembled, ere 
Bankruptcy hit the proud investment five 
Years later, from no sales yet bills — so Dave 
Packer recalled the early enterprise 
• Stockholders dreamed would make some of them rich 
From four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steer design. 

Dr. Howard Peters, son of Elmer and Marie (Mann) Peters, and Dr. 
Malcolm Heimer, son of Carl and Ethel (Phillips) Heimer, have dis- 
tinguished themselves in the field of science. Mr. Peters recently com- 
pleted the requirements for an additional doctorate, this in the field of 
law. He is now specializing in patent law. Wayne Miller, son of Robert 
and Eleanor (Bechdel) Miller, has been promoted to high management 
positions in the F. W. Woolworth chain. Barry Lingle, son of Harry A. 
and Vera (Thompson) Lingle, is west coast manager of Mobil's 
company-operated service stations. Clair J. Glock, son of Walter and 
Ellen (DeLong) Glock, was a civil engineer with the New York Central 
Railroad at the time of his death in 1967. Joseph D. Clark, son of W. 
Harold and Lula (Bechdel) Clark, followed his father's footsteps into 
the firebrick industry, and is presently in an important management 
position with General Refractories Co. Allan W. Lingle, son of Richard 
and Mabel (Brady) Lingle, has served in a number of high government 
positions in Alaska, including one term as state director of banking, 
finance and insurance. The latter three, Glock, Clark and Lingle, grew 
up together, each served in WWII, and each graduated from Penn State 
University, after which Mr. Lingle went on to receive a degree in law at 

Many of the herein named persons, who have been singled out as suc- 
ceeding in their particular endeavors, were products of our rural 
schools. The authors of this story were never convinced that the "Little 
Red Schoolhouse" was not providing a quality background for higher 
education. Their classmates in high school and beyond were from both 
rural and graded schools, with the rural-trained students equally or 
better prepared for advance training. In spite of the lack of indoor 
toilets and piped drinking water rural schools had one big advantage. 
The lower grade pupils, especially those who were inclined toward 
learning, could gain much from the teachings and recitations in the 
higher grades. During the 1950's, when the reformers reached a peak in 


Two World War I soldiers, Doctors P. McDowell Tibbins and George H. 
Tibbins, flank their father, Dr. J.E. Tibbins, who is wearing his Civil 
War cap. 


closing and consolidating schools, two products of our one-room, un- 
graded schools, both already named, were destined to be the top stu- 
dents in their high school graduating class. One of our rural-school- 
trained pupils, then living in a foster home, is currently a successful 
physician in the Philadelphia area, and many others became very suc- 
cessful in such fields as nursing and teaching. 

Following a period of duty as an MP in the Marine Corps, Gary 
Kunes, son of William and Vivian (Fravel) Kunes, entered police work 
in Washington, D. C. He has since served as officer and detective in the 
State College borough police force, and is now deputy sheriff of Centre 
County. It is widely predicted that Gary will rise still further in the 
field of law enforcement. Following his graduation from Bucknell 
University in 1931 Harold A. Robb, son of Leonard and Edith (Gloss- 
ner) Robb, was elected principal of the local high school, a position he 
held for about ten years. 

James A. Wensel (1857-1918), son of George and Ellen Eliza 
(Quigley) Wensel, a former schoolteacher, became deputy 
prothonotary of Clinton County. He later became deputy county 
treasurer, and still later a prominent figure in the banking business at 
Avis. Kenneth R. Brungard, who was born to Louden D. Brungard and 
his second wife, Minnie (Breining) Brungard, at Beech Creek in 1923, 
followed his father's footsteps in the banking business. Kenneth began 
his banking career at Hughesville, later served as officer-in-charge and 
president of the Citizens Bank of Muncy, and currently is a vice presi- 
dent of Fidelity National, a large chain of banks with headquarters in 

William Fearon, who was born in Beech Creek Township on 
December 16, 1815, followed civil engineering for the four years prior to 
1840, at which time he took up farming near Salona. In 1843 he was 
elected Clinton County prothonotary and register and recorder, a com- 
bination position at that time. In 1854 he was elected to the first of two 
terms in our State legislature. In 1876 he was appointed to complete the 
term of Lock Haven alderman, G. W. Bachelder, lately deceased, and 
in 1877 was elected to a full term in that position. 

James David (1828-1892), a local native, and Joseph Hubbard (1825- 
1906), who had come here from Bald Eagle Township, both served as 
county commissioners in the late 1800's. John McGhee, a son of John 
and Elizabeth (Linn) McGhee, served as a Clinton County auditor 
from 1890 to 1893. Robert Clark, son of James and Rebecca (Quigley) 
Clark, was a county sealer of weights and measures in the early 1900's. 
Robert W. Bullock, son of C. E. "Dix" Bullock and his first wife, Mary 
(Mann) Bullock, was a long-time Clinton County Register and 
Recorder. Sheldon Bitner, son of Christie and Catharine (Barthol- 


omew) Bitner, was county veterans representative for a number of 
years. Joseph Berry, son of H. Clair and Mabel (DeHaas) Berry, was 
Clinton County highway superintendent during most of the 1970's. In 
1979 Frederick D. Lingle, son of Harry A. and Vera (Thompson) Lingle, 
and a Lock Haven attorney, was elected by a large majority vote to the 
position of Clinton County's district attorney. 

It is observed that in addition to our natives who "made good" a 
number of persons who had come here from elsewhere established 
themselves as first-class citizens. A perfect example is Joseph W. Mer- 
rey, a- native of England, who came to this country at age twenty. After 
engaging in a number of business enterprises elsewhere in our county, 
and after his marriage to widow, Eliza (Magnus) Bailey, he settled in 
Beech Creek. Here he served as justice of the peace, school director and 
borough councilman. During the early 1880's he served briefly in the 
state legislature. In 1888 he was a delegate to the Democratic National 
Convention that renominated President Grover Cleveland, who later 
lost the election to Benjamin Harrison. It seems reasonable to assume 
that Mr. Merrey was responsible for the planting of maple trees on Mill 
Street, all the way from Main Street to its southern end. Some time 
after the planting of these trees, most of which are still standing, the 
name of the street was officially and very appropriately changed to 
Maple Avenue. Mill Street was originally named for the large sawmill 
near the end of the street. This street was laid out to start at the 
borough line near the old covered bridge, continue in a generally 
northern direction, cross Main Street and end at the location of the 
present railroad bed. 

As mentioned elsewhere, Victoria (Claflin) Woodhull -Martin 
became a presidential candidate on the Women's Rights ticket in 1872. 
If not born here, Victoria was born just before her family moved to 
Beech Creek, or very shortly after they moved from here. When Belle - 
fonte Academy was established by an act of the State Legislature in 
1805, three men from our township were named to the board. They were 
John Fearon, Matthew Allison and James Boyd. 

Following a very successful career as a high school and college 
teacher and athletic coach, W. Max Bossert turned to government. 
Max served several terms as county commissioner prior to his tenure in 
the State House of Representatives. Max and his wife, Edith (Hoy) 
Bossert, an accomplished artist, live on the old Fearon farm, in the area 
where our first permanent settlers located. Dr. George H. Messerly 
(1911-1981) was born here to Conrad and Estelle (McCloskey) Messer- 
ly. He graduated from Lock Haven High School, earned his doctorate 
at Pennsylvania State University, and had a distinguished career in 
fields of science. 


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William and LaFrances (Strong) Parsons were early residents of our 
town. When their third son was born here on August 10, 1844 he was 
given the same name as his father. Following graduation from Yale in 
1868 young William entered law school, and received his degree the fol- 
lowing year. Shortly thereafter he was admitted to the Clinton County 
bar, and later, following an appointment as district attorney, was 
elected to that same position. 

James Chatham was born on April 24, 1814 in what is now Wayne 
Township in our county. Prior to and following his marriage to Henriet- 
ta DeHaas, a daughter of John P., Ill, and Hannah (Morrison) DeHaas, 
he distinguished himself both locally and county wide. While still a 
young man, according to historical accounts, he was a leader in local 
church work. Following one term as our county sheriff he operated a 
local store for two years. At age forty this ambitious gentleman decided 
to enter the field of law, and two years later began full practice. In 1861 
he was elected a member of the Pennsylvania House of Represen- 
tatives. The local chapter of the DAR was named for his grandfather. 

Giles-W. Halenbake came to our area from New York state and mar- 
ried Frances "Fannie" Johnson, a daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah 
(Willis) Johnson, early area settlers. In 1850 Mr. Halenbake was 
elected to a three year term as a county auditor. The Ross Library in 
Lock Haven was named for Anna (Halenbake) Ross, a daughter of the 
Halenbakes. Another county auditor was Jacob Bitner, who was 
elected to the position after moving from our area to Nittany Valley. He 
was a son of Christian and Nancy (Dice) Bitner. His wife Nancy was a 
daughter of Samuel and Sarah (McCloskey) Hall. 

John McGhee of Liberty Township married Julia Harleman, a 
daughter of Jesse and Elizabeth (Stams) Harleman of our township, 
and settled here. In 1890 John was elected to a full term as a county 
auditor. As is indicated elsewhere, John, an outstanding, public 
spirited citizen, held numerous township and borough offices prior to 
and following his tenure as auditor. The McGhees' house, built on 
Main Street in 1854, is currently occupied by Dorothy Hunter, a 
daughter of John H. and Etta (Mann) Hunter. It may be the oldest 
house in town. 

Old newspaper accounts plus information provided by a great 
grandson, James Bobb of Hershey, reveal that Cline Quigiey, son of 
Michael and Mary (Clark) Quigiey, served at least one term as a 
Clinton County associate judge. Cline is best remembered as a success- 
ful lumberman and as a proprietor of the local hotel. As noted 
elsewhere he served as postmaster during the administration of James 
Buchanan. His nephew, Henry Quigiey, later became judge of Centre 


Chapter IX 

Lodges, Organizations and 
Miscellaneous Activities 

Over the years many of our organizations were joint efforts with 
Liberty Township, Beech Creek Township and Beech Creek Borough 
participating. An excellent example is the Grand Army of the Republic 
(GAR) Post 302, which was organized in Blanchard by Civil War 
veterans following that war. The post was named for a Beech Creek 
Township soldier who was killed in battle. He was George Harleman, 
son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Starns) Harleman. Following World War I 
Beech Creek Post 623 of the American Legion was organized and 
named for two Liberty Township soldiers who had likewise lost their 
lives in battle. They were Howard W. Bitner, son of Howard and Sarah 
Frances (Johnson) Bitner and Joseph R. Bechdel, son of Jacob C. and 
Lydia (DeHaas) Bechdel. Howard W. Bitner's father, also named 
Howard, had died the same year that young Howard was born. 
However, the boy later gained a step-father, Alfred Ferguson Bitner, a 
cousin of his father. Our churches were organized on an 
intercommunity basis and on several occasions in earlier years our com- 
munities were served by one post office. 

A Beech Creek chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
(IOOF) was chartered in 1850. However, this group and their sister 
lodge of Good Templars both disbanded after a fire destroyed their 
meeting place in 1855. Around 1874 the Patriotic Order Sons of 
America (POS of A) established a local camp. At a later date a 
companion organization, the Patriotic Order of America (PO of A) was 
formed for women. In November, 1874 the Grange of Patrons of 
Husbandry was organized. At that time the store of James Clark on 
Water Street became affiliated with the lodge, catering particularly to 
grange members. The local grange is still an active group. Also around 
1874 the Washingtonians, a national group opposed to the sale of intox- 
icating beverages, developed a strong organization in Beech Creek. 

The Lewanee Tribe, local lodge of the Improved Order of Red Men 
(IORM), was started at an early date and retained its charter until just 
several years ago, when the remaining members became members of 


the State lodge. Scouting for both boys and girls has been a "come-and- 
go" situation ever since the first troops were organized about eleven 
years after the scouting movement of England was introduced in 
America in 1910. Donald Glossner, a local school teacher and son of 
Albert and Ida Blanche (Miller) Glossner, was the local promoter and 
first scout master. 

In the 1930's Thomas F. Kesainger and David M. Packer, aided 
principally by Russell J. Spangler and William H. Vonada of 
Blanchard, aroused enough interest to form the Beech Creek- 
Blanchard Volunteer Fire Company. Robert E. Murray was elected 
president of the organization. In March, 1939 Fire Chief Kessinger and 
Mr. Packer drove to Muncy to purchase a used truck, which, after 
conversion, became our first fire truck. In reality it was just a hose 
truck equipped with ladders and additional fire-fighting equipment. 
However, with the very high pressure in the local water lines, we were 
capable of throwing a stream to match many pumpers of that day. In 
the latter 1940's a renewed local effort resulted in the construction of 
the two-story masonry building that we know today. Subsequently a 
very active ambulance association was organized as an adjunct to the 
fire company. The original building, to which an annex was completed 
in the early 1970's, now houses two pumpers, a water truck and two 
ambulances. During 1979, a typical year, the local fire company 
responded to 40 calls. 8 were within Beech Creek Borough; 10 were in 
Beech Creek Township; 15 were in Liberty Township; 4 were in Curtin 
Township; and 3 were beyond the area. 

A very worthwhile organization that went the way of many 
organizations, good or otherwise, was the Beech Creek-Blanchard 
Community Service Organization. During its life it sponsored many 
commendable projects, including a community Christmas tree, 
lighting contests, street markers in both towns, scouting programs and 
the annual Christmas Sing, which has continued ever since. The Senior 
Cheer Club, an inter-community group of senior citizens who are 
staying young while growing old, meets once a month most of the year 
for a friendly get-together, to enjoy a planned program and to make 
plans for future events, sight-seeing tours, shopping trips, etc. 

The Beech Creek-Blanchard Memorial Day Parade, organized 
shortly after the Civil War, has changed considerably in appearance 
and routes over the years, but the tradition remains. In recounting 
early parades our predecessors usually mentioned the names of Uriah 
Kitchen, Peter Hoffman and Campbell McCloskey. If, at early morning 
during the late 1800's, these three gentlemen were observed walking to 
town in full Civil War regalia, it had to be Decoration Day. At that time 
it was customary for the parade to form in Blanchard. Following a full 


coverage of that town the paraders would sit down to a bountiful meal 
at Quigley's Hall, which had been converted to serve especially as a 
meeting place for the GAR. In the afternoon the parade would re-form 
in Beech Creek and cover all the local streets. Even in advanced years 
of age Kitchen, Hoffman and McCloskey and most of their comrades 
were eager and ready for this day of marching. In those days the parade 
was usually led by the local fife and drum corps, with all fraternal 
organizations of both towns in the line of march. After its organization 
the Blanchard Cornet Band took its place in this annual event. The 
IORM (Red Men) were in full Indian attire and other lodge members 
wore attractive, identifying" shoulder epaulets. The local American 
Legion post, after its inception, assumed responsibility for the parade 
and made provision for the transportation of the few remaining "Old 
Soldiers", all then in advanced years of age. 

Uriah Kitchen, who had also served in the Mexican War, was 
selected to unveil the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Lock Haven 
when it was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1909. Harry Kitchen, 
youngest son of Uriah, married Josephine Watkins, a sister of Rachel 
McCloskey, the wife of Harry's uncle, Campbell McCloskey. The 
Watkins sisters were daughters of Samuel Morrison and Nancy Jane 
Watkins. Ellen, another sister of the Watkins girls, married Leslie 
Cottle, whose family had come from Maine when he was still a boy. 
Campbell McCloskey, a son of Joseph and Agnes McCloskey, was a 
great, great grandson of the widely-known Revolutionary War soldier, 

Members of the Beech Creek Military Fife and Drum Corps with their tal- 
lyho in background. 


Cleary Campbell, who had married Ann Gamble at St. James Church 
in Lancaster on February 23, 1761. Sarah (McCloskey) Kitchen, wife of 
Uriah, was a great, great granddaughter. 

Since the closing of the Presbyterian Church the building on Main 
Street has been utilized to promote youth activities. The sponsoring 
group, which includes people from Liberty Township, established the 
Friendship Community Center. In late 1978 a committee was formed to 
affect the establishment of a library. After considerable effort the 
Friendship Community Library, an outpost of the Ross Library of Lock 
Haven, opened in 1980 in a portion of the Community Building. 

One organization that has endured is the local parent-teacher group 
established in the 1920's as the Parent-Teacher Association. Some 
years later this group, after voting against affiliation with a national 
group of the same name, was called an "outlaw group" by a national 
organizer. Our association, which escaped the outlaw term by later 
changing its name to Parent-Teacher Organization, is a close second to 
the American Legion as the oldest continuously-active organization in 
the community. Unless the same groups that are proposing more stu- 
dent busing, even during today's fuel shortage, are successful in moving 
our school elsewhere, the local PTO should continue active and produc- 

An early outstanding baseball team: John Hunter, Bob Bullock, Ray Bul- 
lock, scorekeeper George F. Hess, Clair Heverly, Charles Lindsey, George 
Brenize, Dix Bullock, Manager Henry C.B. Williams and Joseph Shut- 





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Baseball has been our most popular sport since it was first 
inaugurated some time before the 1870's. However, modern-day teams 
have been hard pressed to match the superiority of those of the past. 
The account of a game between Beech Creek and Blanchard at 
Blanchard in 1871 is recorded in the Liberty Township Bicentennial 
book published in 1976. The Beech Creek aggregation of 1871 appears 
very interesting when related to the early settlers of our area. George G, 
Hastings, the catcher, a Bellefonte area native, was the son of Daniel 
and Mary (Hartsock) Hastings. He and his older brother, Enoch, a 
Civil War veteran, who later operated a store in Beech Creek, had come 
here several years earlier. George married a local girl, Lauretta Rogers, 
the daughter of T. A. Smith and Agnes (Miller) Rogers. Mr. Rogers had 
been named for Thomas Armstrong Smith, a local saddler in the early 
1800's. George and Lauretta later moved to Centre County. The 
Hastings families of the Avis area are descendants. 

William Rothrock, the pitcher, and his brother James, the second 
baseman, were sons of Dr. W. P. Rothrock. The doctor and his family, 
excepting his two oldest daughters, Susan and Harriet, later moved to a 
western state. Susan married William Mitchell, a surveyor and a son of 
the evangelist. Harriet married Jacob Cook, a son of Robert and Mary 
(Quinn) Cook of Howard, several years before her death in 1872. The 
doctor, one of a number of Central Pennsylvania doctors named 
Rothrock, later lived in Bellefonte and purchased land in Benner 
Township from Daniel and Louise (Alexander) Leyden, who then 
occupied the former Rothrock home on Water Street. The Rothrock 
baseball players were grandsons of Robert and Fannie (Quigley) 

At shortstop was Frank Quigley, a son of Cline and Agnes 
(Thompson) Quigley, and a grandson of Michael Quigley, our first 
postmaster. Frank later married Sadie Bailey, a step-daughter of Hon. 
Joseph W. Merrey, who was identified with mining, lumbering and 
manufacturing enterprises in our county. Merrey is best remembered 
locally for the development of the southern end of Maple. Avenue. 

Henry Clay Bollinger Williams, a son of George Q. and Elizabeth 
(Bollinger) Williams, was at first base. His brother, Christian Allison 
Williams, a later Blanchard merchant, was in right field. The Williams 
brothers were grandsons of George and Susan (Quiggle) Williams and 
of Christian and Eliza (Kirk) Bollinger, early area families. Henry C. 
B. Williams is best remembered as the manager of some very successful 
baseball teams during the late 1800's and early 1900's. 

Everett Packer, a son of Asher and Nancy (Hall) Packer, was playing 
third base. Everett's paternal grandparents were Moses and Hannah 
(Packer) Packer. Moses was the son of Eli and Elizabeth (Vickers) 



Packer, and Hannah was the daughter of Job and Hannah (Lamborn) 
Packer. Everett's mother, Nancy, was a daughter of Jesse Hall, born 
about 1781 in New Jersey and died in 1877 in Kendal County, Illinois, 
and his wife, Elizabeth (Johnson) Hall, who was born in England. The 
Halls came to this area during the early 1800's. 

William Quigley "Quig" Clark, oldest son of James and Rebecca 
(Quigley) Clark, was playing center field. Mr. Clark's grandparents, 
William and Sarah (Hays) Clark, are listed among our earliest settlers. 
His grandfather, Nicholas Quigley, was an early Beech Creek tailor. In 
left field was William Kessinger, who had been borrowed from 
Blanchard for that particular game. His brother, Henry Franklin 
Kessinger, was pitching for Blanchard, whose extremely large margin 
of victory (74 to 24) that day is explainable. In those days the home 
team, even though already the winner, took its tum at bat in the ninth 
inning. The Kessinger boys were sons of Jefferson and Fannie 
(Nestlerode) Kessinger, and great grandsons of Christian Nestlerode 
and his first wife, Anna Margaret (Bott) Nestlerode, ancestors of many, 
many current residents. It is noted that five of our nine players were 
Quigley descendants. Only one Quigley descendant lives here today. 

A July, 1877 issue of the Bellefonte Democratic Watchman 
newspaper reported that the Beech Creek baseball team had played a 
game at Howard and gave the home team a sound beating. The players 
were not named. During the first thirty years of this century local 
baseball teams gave a very good account of themselves, both as 
members of the old Clinton-Centre (C-C) League and as independents. 
In 1931 Beech Creek entered the Central League, won five straight 
championships, then moved to the Centre County League for two 
seasons. Returning to the Central League in 1938 our teams won several 
more championships before the end of that decade. Subsequent League 
representations have not been' so outstanding, yet our teams have 
usually been close to the top if not on top. 

Through the efforts, particularly of Delmas McCloskey, Little 
League baseball came to Beech Creek within several years after its 
inception. Delmas became the first manager. He was a son of Harry O. 
and Lula M. (Boone) McCloskey. Several years later, when Little 
League headquarters in Williamsport announced the Junior League 
program for boys just beyond Little League age, a team in this category 
was organized locally. Bob Miller, a son of Walter and Thelma (Burke) 
Miller and the husband of Claire Bitner, was chosen to be the manager. 
These early teams, members of the Intercommunity Leagues, made 
good showings. Some years later, because of the pressure of higher and 
higher fees and added regulations, our Intercommunity Leagues 


withdrew from the international organization. This move permitted a 
greater number of boys to participate. 

As mentioned previously the annual Memorial Day parade was led, 
for many years, by the Beech Creek Military Fife and Drum Corps. 
This marching group, sometimes called the Linn Fife and Drum Corps 
because of the preponderance of Linn members, was organized some 
time after the Civil War. A standout performer was E. B. Roberts, who 
had been a military drummer in the war. A former local resident, Hugh 
Linn of Williamsport, a son of the late Chatham and Agnes (Quigley) 
Linn, declares that he has never seen the equals of drummer Roberts. 

Our early settlers, using many Indian techniques, did considerable 
hunting and fishing in order to provide enough food for their families. 
Over the years these activities have become more of an organized sport 
than a necessity. The Great Ring Hunt, which took place in this area, is 
fully described in Linn's History, published in 1882. On November 5, 
1902 the old Philadelphia North American, a daily newspaper, carried 
a picture of Richard Berryhill, our foremost hunter, about to leave his 
camp for a day's hunting. Later pictures showed Mr. Berryhill, his 
long-time hunting companion, Jonathan Abbott of Blanchard, and 
their entire hunting crew. When good fishing weather arrived Berryhill 
and his fishing companion, Sammy Bowmaster, would be seen 
traveling by horse and buggy to their favorite spots. For many years 
after his death the talents of Mr. Berryhill, familiarly known as "Uncle 
Dick," as a hunter, fisherman and recognized prognosticator were 
periodically mentioned by George F. Hess in his bi-weekly news 


Chapter X 

Early Settlers 
More Fully Identified 

As indicated previously our area was at one time a part of a very large 
township. For this reason it is difficult to establish exact locations of 
residents. Furthermore, the first census, taken in 1790, lists the 
families alphabetically with no clues as to their neighbors or respective 
area of residence. It is very evident, however, that the following settlers 
and their families were our neighbors, living just west of us in that part 
of our then large township that was to later become Liberty Township: 
John Masden (then usually spelled Marsden), John Gardner, Christian 
Bechdel, John Bitner, Daniel Kunes, Christian Nestlerode, the Liggets 
and Simon Rorabaugh, who had previously taken up residence in Pine 
Creek Township. 

Pre- 1800 settlers, who had chosen our particular area for at least 
semi-permanent residence, included the families of Major James and 
Nancy (Brown) Boyd, Lieutenant James and Sarah Hays, William and 
Beulah Templeton, William and Ann (Templeton) Fearon, John 
Fearon, Joseph Fearon, Richard "Dicky" and Anna Hays, Matthew 
Leitch, Patrick Linn, Joseph McCloskey, James McCLoskey and Amos 
Williams. Other pre-1800 settlers, who chose our area or a nearby loca- 
tion in our valley, include Cleary and Ann (Gamble) Campbell, Mungo 
Lindsey, William Montgomery, Jacob Packer, John Spangler, Peter 
Spangler, George Wantz, Ellis Williams and Job and Hannah (Lam- 
bourn) Packer. 

In constructing a place for the family to live, providing firewood, 
clearing land and planting and harvesting crops, our early settlers were 
busy from daylight to dark. The family's first shelter, usually a log 
cabin, was often enlarged or replaced as the family grew. Local taxing 
procedures after 1800 were discussed in Chapter I. Prior to 1800 some 
assessment records indicated the type and size of each home and the 
number of lights (windows). With very few exceptions the houses were 
described as log-type, and values ranged upward from twenty-eight 

A very noticeable increase in the population of our township occurred 


between 1800 and 1810. Familiar names among the settlers of this 
period were: Matthew Allison, a Revolutionary War soldier, who lived 
in the Nittany Valley portion of our township, arid who later served as a 
Centre County Commissioner; Allen and William Campbell and 
Jonathan and John DeLong, sons and sons-in-law of Cleary Campbell; 
Lemuel Farwell, whose given name was carried through many genera- 
tions of Farwells; Amos, Amos, Jr., Edward and William Williams; 
Michael and John Kirk, who had lumbering and tanning interests; 
Patrick and Philip Mullen, the latter having later married Elizabeth 
Masden, widow of Justus "Yost" Masden; Lieutenant John Philip and 
Ann (Shippin) DeHaas and the Daniel Davids. Lieutenant DeHaas, 
son of Brigadier General John Philip and Eleanor (Bingham) DeHaas, 
came from Philadelphia and settled on a portion of the land holdings 
acquired by him for military service or else purchased from fellow of- 
ficers. Daniel David, also a Revolutionary soldier, brought along at 
least four of his sons, namely Isaac, James, Carpenter and Alexander. 

Other settlers of the 1800-1810 period included: William, Samuel and 
Henry "Pletcher, who later joined their kin in the Howard area; Joseph 
Morrison, who, for many years after the death of his wife, Elizabeth, 
lived with his son-in-law, James Linn; William, Jacob, William, Jr. 
and David Reed, the latter two still unmarried in 1810; William and 
Sarah Miller; Caleb, William, Jr., Robert and Conrad Miller; and 
James and Nancy (Cryder) Miller, the ancestors of most of our Millers 
of the present day. 

Current local family names that have existed continuously since an 
ancestor settled here in the early 1800's are surprisingly few. Those that 
can be identified and the year in which residence began are as follows: 
Packer (before 1800), Miller (1803), DeHaas (1806), Clark (1813), 
Lingle (1822), Haagen (1829), Bitner (1830), Linn (1834), Masden 
(1836), and Johnson (1841). It may be remembered that the Bitner, 
Linn and Masden settlers referred to here all came from Liberty 
Township. Several Masdens had crossed over to our area shortly after 
1800, but they left no descendants who live here today. The first 
Johnsons came from England via Farrandsville and the first Lingles 
came from Linglestown via Mifflin County. Rises and declines over the 
years in the prevalence of family names is in very clear evidence. In 
1880 we had eight Linn families; today we have one. In 1880 we had no 
Bechdel families in our specific area. In fact as late as 1910 we still had 
none, except that Lizzie Bechdel, daughter of Jacob and Isabella 
(Confer) Bechdel, was living with her sister, Dora, wife of Charles 
Cook. Today we have at least ten Bechdel families. In 1840 we had six 
Fearon families. Today we have none. In 1860 we had seven Hall 
families. Today we have none. In 1880 we had one Peter (Peters) fami- 


ly. Today we have more than twenty. Among the once popular names 
that do not exist locally today we find Hays, Quigley and Ligget. 

In early days almost every family was engaged in farming, at least 
part time. However, there were some full-time, non-agricultural, oc- 
cupations usually performed by self-employed persons. These jobs in- 
cluded blacksmith, miller, tanner, weaver, sawyer, distiller, cooper, 
tailor, shoemaker, carpenter, and stone mason. Persons engaged in 
these occupations were assessed accordingly. Taxes were also levied 
against such items as land, buildings, horses, cows, sawmills, yokes of 
oxen, gristmills, stills, workshops, etc. At various times taxes were 
levied against gold watches, money at interest and collateral in- 
heritances. Assessors who served our township from 1801 to 1810 were 
James Boyd, Casper Richards, ' William Moore and John Heslet. 
County commissioners during the same period were John Hall, David 
Barr, Matthew Allison, Christopher Henney, James Green, lac 
Hosterman, John Barron, John Kryder, John Snyder and F. McEwen. 
Mr. Allison was from our township. 

Additional Families 1800 to 1810 

William Beaty and family, Michael and Mary (Helman) Brickley — 
moved to the present Liberty Township area before 1810, Allen 
Campbell and family, William and Elizabeth (Parsons) Campbell, 
Samuel and Mary (McGhee) Clark, John and Rhoda (David) Counsil, 
David Courter and family, John and Mary Donnell — he died around 
1813, Jesse and Elizabeth (Johnson) Hall — left area — returned dur- 
ing 1840's, Samuel Hall and family, Jacob Hess and family, Thomas 
Holland and first wife, James and Susanna Huff, William and Sarah 
Miller, Alexander Morrison and family, Joseph and Elizabeth Mor- 
rison, Michael Myers and family, Moses and Hannah (Packer) Packer, 
John and Elizabeth Quay, Jacob and Magdalene Runner — later 
moved to Liberty Township, Samuel Saxton and family, Edward Wil- 
liams and family, William and Elizabeth Williams and Mathias and 
Jane Wagner. 

Additional Familes 1810 to 1820 

Samuel and Lettie (McKibben) Askey, James Boyd, Jr. and family, 
Thomas Boyd and family, Benjamin Clark and family, John Clark and 
family, William, Sr. and Elizabeth Clark, William, Jr. and Sarah 
(Hays) Clark, Jonas and Nancy (Gunsallus) Confer, Nicholas Crispen 
and family, Jonathan and Elizabeth (Orner) Daughenbaugh, Alex- 
ander and Mary David, Carpenter David and family, John P. and Han- 
nah (Morrison) DeHaas, Edward, Sr. and Ann (Connor) DeHaas, Wil- 
liam and Mary "Polly" (Connor) DeHaas, James DeLong and family, 


Gilbert Hays and family, Samuel and Susan (Smith) Hays — she died 
in 1848 — and second wife, Deborah (Reeder) McDonald Hays — mar- 
ried May 26, 1857, Henry and Joanna (Fredericks) James, Abner Mc- 
Closkey and family, Nathan McCloskey and family, Hugh and Isabell 
(Hays) McFadden, John Montgomery and family, Daniel and 
Margaret (Frey) Nestlerode, Levi Packer and family, John Quigley and 
family, William T. and Elizabeth Reed, Michael and Susan (Smith) 
Rogers, David and Mary Rorabaugh — came from Liberty Township, 
Michael and Mary (Clark) Quigley, Henry Snyder and family and 
Enoch Williams and family. 

Additional Families 1820 to 1830 

Christian and Nancy (Dice) Bitner, Hugh Caldwell — ran away and 
married in 1823, Samuel and Mary (Leitch) Clark, Stephen Clark and 
family, Buckman Claflin and family, Abraham and Nancy (Rogers) 
Courter — married October 12, 1824 and later moved to Liberty 
Township, Campbell and Elizabeth (Kunes) DeLong — later returned 
to Liberty Township, Joseph and Nancy Galbraith — later moved to 
Liberty Township, George and Mary (Barger) Haagen, Jesse and 
Elizabeth (Starns) Harleman, John Harleman and family, Isaac 
Harvey and family, Robert and Letitia (Packer) Hays, James Hays and 
family, William and Ann (Barner) Huff, Thomas and V. Holcomb, 
Samuel and Rebecca (Courter) Knepley, Daniel Krouse and family, 
Paul and Mary (Spohn) Lingle, John and Sarah (Miller) Lingle and 
Simon and Susanna (Kunes) Lingle. 

Also Andrew, Jr. and Barbara (Leathers) Linn — this family, ex- 
cepting two oldest daughters, later moved to Bristol, 111., Thomas and 
Rachel Linn, Joseph and Agnes McCloskey, Jacob Miller's widow, 
Ann, and family, Eli and Ann (Thomas) Packer, John and Sarah 
(Confer) Packer, Reuben Packer and family, John Reed and family, 
Jeremiah and Susanna (Bitner) Rockwell, Jeremiah Shearer and fami- 
ly, Andrew and Mary (Orner) Smith, Thomas and Eleanor (DeHaas) 
Stevenson, Peter and Mary Sullenberger — moved to Liberty 
Township in 1827 and John and Elizabeth Wagner. 

Additional Families 1830 to 1840 

Abraham and Mary (Leathers) Bitner, John and Susan (Orner) 
Bitner, Christian and Eliza Fawcett (Kirk) Bollinger — married July 
17, 1821, Samuel and Mahala Brickley — later moved to Howard area, 
James and Eliza Britton, James Chatham — later married Henrietta 
DeHaas, David and Eliza Clark — later lived at Mill Hall, Valentine 
Confer and family, William Courter and family, John and Martha 
(Linn) Crispen, Thomas and Hannah (Morrison) Crispen — married 


March 22, 1832 — second wife was Fayette, James and Ellen (Baird) 
David, James Fearon and family, Robert and Sarah (Hays) Fearon, 
William and Elizabeth (Bechdel) Fearon, Elisha and Lydia (Berry) 
Graham — married August 18, 1831 — moved to Liberty Township in 
1836, James Graham and family and Samuel Graham and family. 

Also Widower Daniel Hendricks and family, G. Washington and 
Susanna (James) Heverly — first wife was Eliza Waddle, John and 
Catharine Hubbard, Francis Huff and family, Clinton and Maria 
(Gunsallus) James, Adam Kessinger and his second wife, Elizabeth, 
and family, Charles Kitchen and family, Elias and Elizabeth Kitchen, 
David and Mary Krouse, Henry and Julia Ann Kunes, Austin and Julia 
Ann (Packer) Leonard — married September 14, 1831 — Austin and 
second wife, Eliza Ann (Knepley) Packer, married March 27, 1864, 
James Lindsey and family, John and Susanna (Neff) Ligget, David 
Lingle and family — moved west in 1840's, Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Harvey) Lingle — Joseph elected Centre County sheriff in 1850, James 
and Elizabeth (Morrison) Linn, Roland and Phoebe Lucas — later 
lived in Liberty Township, William and Mary (Fredericks) Sterling 
McGhee — married October 26, 1831, James and Eve R. Mann, James 
and Margaret (Yost) and Margaret (McClure) Masden, William and 
Annetta Masden, David and Jane Miller, Levi, Sr. and Susan (Bur- 
kett) Miller, Samuel and Eliza (Bridgens) Miller and William 
Montgomery and family. 

Also tailor John Orner and family, Amos and Elizabeth (Lingle) 
Packer, Asher and Nancy (Hall) Packer, Hays Coates and Ann Eliza 
(Williams) Packer, James Packer and family, John T. and Sarah 
(Confer) Packer, William and Mary Quay, Nicholas and Elizabeth 
(Moore) Quigley, William and Elizabeth Reed, John and Elizabeth 
Rupert — came from Liberty Township, James and Elizabeth 
(Rorabaugh) Shearer, Jacob Shirk — later returned to Boggs 
Township, where he died in 1845, Joseph M. and Janetta (David) 
Smith — married July 5, 1832, William Smith and family, Solomon 
Strong and family, George and Susan (Rorabaugh) Wagner, Levi 
Wagner and family, Robert and Lydia Wagner, John B. and Lavina 
Welsh, Andrew and Eliza (Quigley) White, Hugh White, Jr. and fami- 
ly, George and Elizabeth (Bollinger) Williams, William and Hannah 
(Packer) Williams — second wife was Ann Lingle, Charles and 
Margaret Winslow — both born in Ireland and John and Sarah Yost. 

Additional Familes 1840 to 1850 

Richard and Mary (Snyder) Berryhill — married February 1, 1847, 
Christian and Isabella (Sterling) Bitner, widow Catharine Bolopue — 

born in Switzerland and her young son, Charles, born in New Jersey, 


Joseph and Maria Bullock, James and Rebecca (Quigley) Clark, Wil- 
liam and Margaret (Quigley) Counsil, Horatio and Sophia DeHaas, 
John and Eve C. (Myers) Earon, John and Elizabeth (Wise) Eyer, John 
and Sarah Fearon, Arthur and Eliza Foresman — later moved to 
Liberty Township, George and Eliza (Stewart) Furst, Dolan and Mary 
Ann and Esther (Miller) Gardner, McCormick and Mary (Bollinger) 
Graham, John and Elizabeth Gummo — both born in England, Giles 
W. and Frances (Johnson) Halenback, John and Frances Hall, Joseph 
and Temperance (Sterling) Hall, Samuel and Sarah (McCloskey) Hall, 
Robert and Letitia (Packer) Hays and John and Mary Johnson or 

Also Nathan and Rebecca (Reeder) and Mary Jane (DeHaas) 
Johnson, Charles and Martha (Bitner) Johnston — later moved to 
Liberty Township, Samuel and Rebecca (Courter) Knepley, widower 
Absalom Ligget — came from Liberty Township, George Fulton and 
Emeline (Bitner) Miller, John and Nancy (Nestlerode) and later Janet- 
ta (David) Smith Miller, William and Eliza Miller, Israel and Caroline 
Nestlerode — she died in 1860 — he died in Missouri in 1899, Levi and 
Mary Orner — later lived in Iowa, Moses, Jr. and Mary Packer, Vickers 
Amos and Eliza Ann (Knepley) Packer — her second husband was 
Austin Leonard, William and Frances (Strong) Parsons, James and 
Sarah (McClure) Quay and Cline and Agnes (Thompson) Quigley. 

Also John and Rebecca Reeder, Richard and Susanna Riter, T. A. 
Smith and Agnes Ann (Miller) Rogers, Dr. William P. and Jane 
(Stewart) Rothrock, David, Jr. and Ruth Ann and Sarah D. 
Rorabaugh, Vincent S. and Mary Jane (Lingle) Smith, William and 
Margaret (Marshall) Snyder — came from Snyder County — later 
moved to Liberty Township, John and Anna Eliza and Hannah 
(Reeder) Dalton Stams, John and Wilmina Watkins, Joseph and Ellen 
(Reeder) Whitefield, George W. and Catharine Williams, James and 
Esther or Hester Williams and John and Sarah M. (Smith) Wilson. 

Additional Families 1850 to 1860 

Evan and Phoebe Ashton, Eliza (Beck) Beaty, widow of John, and 
her family, Henry and Elizabeth (Wensel) Berry, John and Catharine 
(Crispen) Berry, John and Sarah and Elizabeth (DeLong) Bickel — 
Sarah died in 1863, Abraham and Martha (Trexler) Bitner — married 
March 15, 1856, John W. and Elizabeth (Berry) Bitner — married 
December 12, 1850, James and Caroline Bodle, James and Mary 
(Locke) Brady — married May 10, 1832, John and Ruhama (Hall) 
Bridgens, Thomas and Elizabeth (Bodle) Brown, William and 




Margaretta (McKinley) Bullock, Nelson and Elizabeth (McGhee) 
Caldwell, William and Mahala (Kunes) Clark — later settled in 
Liberty Township, James and Catharine (Trexler) Confer — her second 
husband was William Williams, John and Jane (Hays) Cook, D. W. 
and Nancy (Counsil) Counsil, John and Lavina (Rorabaugh) Counsil, 
W. H. and Catharine Counsil, John and Phoebe Cramer, John and 
Hannah (Reeder) Dalton — married February 9, 1850 — her second 
husband was John Starns, James and Sarah Darrah and Alexander and 
Sarah (Johnson) DeHaas. 

Also Edward, Jr. and Elizabeth (Linn) DeHaas, Nelson and Lydia 
(Starns) Devling, John T. and Annie (Johnson) Fearon, Samuel F. and 
Mary Fearon — likely brother and sister, Daniel and Mary Fredericks, 
Johnson and Emily (Gunsallus) Gardner, Jacob and Elizabeth (Kaler) 
Glossner, Dobbin and Nancy (Confer) Gunsallus, George, Jr. and 
Catharine (Eyer) Haagen, Saul and Sarah (Brungard) Haagen, Everett 
and Eliza (Ross) Hall, Saul and Julia Hall, Josiah and Abigail Hans- 
come, Silas and Frances (Quigley) Hess, Edmond and Rachel Huff, 
Richard and Jane (Gilmore?) Lannen, Philip and Elizabeth Lehr, 
George W. and Jane Ellen (Johnson) Lingle, David and Margaret Long, 
Joseph and Nancy E. Lucas, Abner and Abigail (Mason) McCloskey, 
James William and Mariah McCloskey, Joseph and Rebecca McCor- 
mick, John and Deborah (Reeder) McDonald, James and Frances 
(Gunsallus) McGhee, John and Julian (Harleman) McGhee and Wil- 
liam and Elizabeth McKissick. 

Also John and Louise (Huff) Mann, Thomas H. and Margaret 
(Quigg) Martin, John and Martha (Linn) Mason, Carpenter and 
Louise (Wetzler) Miller, Michael and Zylphia (Winslow) Miller — her 
second husband was George Ruple, Samuel and Eliza (Bridgens) Mil- 
ler, Samuel and Margaret (Linn) and Sarah Catharine (Sproul) Mor- 
timer, David and Lydia Myers, John and Elizabeth Myers, Marshall 
and Mary (Johnson) Packer, William and Clementine Pierson, George 
and Matilda Preston, Joseph and Jemima (Miller) Quay — married 
January 1, 1857, James and Catharine J. (Miller) Quigley — married 
August 12, 1858 — second wife, Hannah^utland, later became third 
wife of Levi Rupert, William and Sarah Frances (Brown) Quigley — 
married September 2, 1851, John and Harriet (Gardner) Reed — mar- 
ried August 19, 1858, Andrew and Mary (Linn) Reeder, Charles and 
Elizabeth Reeder, John and Anna J. (Swartz) Romig and Barnard and 
Elizabeth (Hannon) Rupert. 

Also George and Zylphia (Winslow) Miller Ruple, John and Emily 
(Williams) Shaw — later settled in Liberty Township, David and 

Rosanna Shearer, Jeremiah and Abigail Shearer, Michael and 


Catharine Smith, Roland and Margaret (Snyder) Smith — later settled 
in Washington State, George W. and Anna C. Sterling, George and 
Elizabeth (McCloskey) Stevenson, William and Elizabeth Stone, 
Henry and Mary (Confer) Swartz, John S. and Amelia (Crispen) 
Toner, William and Elmira (White) Trexler, Joseph and Mary Van At- 
ta, Jackson and Elizabeth Watson, George and Ellen Eliza (Quigley) 
Wensel — married October 16, 1856, Adam and Caroline (Gronnet) 
Winklebleck and John and Rebecca (Clark) Winslow. 

Additional Families 1860 to 1870 

Jacob and Rosanna (McDowell) Aikey, Jonathan and Susan 
(DeLong) Abbott — her first husband was George Winslow, William 
and Sarah Bartley, C. Foster and Beulah (Clark) Beaty, Adam and 
Martha Best, Joseph and Delinda (Miller) Bitner — married June 11, 
1866, Silas and Lavina (Leonard) Bitner — her second husband was 
John Harleman Berry, Jacob and Elizabeth (Bridgens) Bonsell, Wil- 
liam and Anna Boob, Joseph L. and Sarah (Hendricks) Bowes, Joel 
and Eliza Bowman, Joseph and Sarah (Bitner) Brady — married 
December 20, 1863, Jesse H. and Catharine Jane (Bollinger) Bridgens 

— married December 22, 1864, William and Sarah (Mapes) Bridgens 

— married July 4, 1867 and Frank and Amanda Brown. 

Also Charles and Mary Elizabeth (Hall) Cade, William and Ella 
Calderwood, S. and Mary Campbell, Isaac and Mary Carson, Uriah 
and Mary A. Clark, Edward and Ellen Cline, Jacob and Harriet 
(Rothrock) Cook — married February 23, 1865, Albert and Abigail (Ab- 
bott) Cottle, Martin and Mary (Stewart) Counsil, William Stewart and 
Clarissa (Beck) Counsil, Frank and Elma Cox, John W. and Elizabeth 
(Packer) Crays, John and Clara Curns, James Riley and Mary 
(Bechdel) DeHaas — second wife was Eliza, Hugh and Adaline 
(Bechdel) DeLong — later settled in Curtin Township, Jonathan C. 
and Temperance (Heverly) DeLong, Augustus and Ann Driver, J. D. 
and Ann Engles, William J. and Judonna (Lose) Eyer, James and 
Sarah (Mann) Falls, Lemuel T. and Emma R. (Robinson) Fearon, John 
and M. J. Felmlee, William B. and Lizzie Foresman, Samuel and Ann 
(Winslow) Gardner — married February, 1863, John H. and Julia 
(Snavely) Gensle, Jesse and Hannah (Keister) Gladfelter — his second 
wife was Esther Keister, John and Agnes Jane (Gardner) Gladfelter — 
married April 9, 1867 — her second husband was John Kunes, Peter C. 
and Mary Ann (Wagner) Gould, William and Mary J. Griffey, John E. 
and Elizabeth (Stephen) Gummo, John and Fayetta (Brungard) 
Haagen, Irvin and Margaret Hanscom, Warren and Mary Hanscom, 


John S. and Elizabeth Jane (Johnston) Harleman, Enoch and Kate 
Hastings, George D. and Anna Frances (Furst) Hess — married 
December 5, 1867 and Hiram and Mary Hoover. 

Also Joseph W. and Harriet (Weaver) Hubbard — second wife was 
Jennie E. Packer, John T. and Frederica (Smith) Hunter — later 
moved to Liberty Township, Henry and Margaret Jane (Vance) Kaler, 
Stillman C. and Eliza (Strong) Keyes, Irvine and Frances (Clark) 
Keyes, Solomon and Martha Matilda (Sollars) Knarr, Alvin H. and 
Fannie L. (Keyes) Knecht — married June 10, 1869, Daniel and Mary 
D. (Mapes) Kunes — married March 28, 1869, John and Eliza Kunes, 
John and Hannah (Longshore) Ligget, Francis Mills and Frances 
(Kunes) Linn, Daniel and Susan (Eyer) Lose — married October 24, 
1858, George and Mary Jane (Confer) Lucas, Roland and Mary Lucas, 
George and Mary M. McDonald, Miller L. and Elizabeth McKean, 
William L. and Mary J. (McGhee) McKean — second wife was Jennie 
— third wife was Lizzie Kline, Alfred and Susan (Mantle) Mantle, 
Frederick and Margaret (Reeder) Mantle, Hope and Sarah (Allison) 
Mantle, David and Isabella (Reed) Mapes — married July 26, 1868 — 
second wife was Demaris Quay, John S. and Elizabeth (Cop- 
perthwaite) Masden, Carpenter Miller and second wife, Nancy Jane 
(Bowmaster) Miller, Harrison and Sarah Amanda (Linn) Miller, Levi 
and Hattie Miller, Nelson and Clarinda (Rogers) Miller, Robert and 
Anna Miller, C. William and Jane (Lucas) Montgomery and James G. 
and Sophia Morris. . 

Also Joseph and Catharine (Lehr) Muthler, George and Maria 
(Burd) Packer, William and Margaret Peck, Casper and Philomena 
"Phoebe" (Eckert) Peter, Boyd and Matilda Quigley, William and 
Emily Rine, Rufus and Rebecca (Whitefield?) Riter, Joseph and Sarah 
(Confer) Rorabaugh — married April 24, 1866, William and Jane 
(Shields) Rossman, John and Hannah (Eyer) Rowe, Frank and 
Amanda Russell, Samuel and Mary (Hess) Saylor, John S. and Amelia 
(Reed) Shaffer — married February 19, 1867 in a double ceremony, 
Thompson and Harriet (Brady) Snyder, John and Sarah Stevenson, 
John and Sarah (Llewellyn) Streck, Dr. Isaac and Phoebe Strong, 
Fleming and Clara (Burchard) Trexler — married to second wife, 
Josephine Stout on July 4, 1870, J. W. and Martha Wagner, William 
and Sarah (Berry) Waite — married at Hublersburg in 1858, Michael 
and Rachel Wantz, James and H. Rebecca (Betz) Whitefield, Ann 
(Lingle) Williams, widow of William, and son, Edward and Susanna 
(Strayer) Williams, William and Catharine (Trexler) Williams — her 
first husband was James Confer, William and Barbara (Myers ?) 
Wilson and Jacob and Mary (Walizer) Workman. 


Additional Families 1870 to 1880 

Christian H. and Charlotte (Hall) Beschler — her second husband 
was John Winklebleck, W. Frank and Mary J. "Jennie" (DeLong) Ber- 
ry, William and Mary (McKibben) Bickel, Benjamin and Annie Bierly, 
George W. and Elizabeth (DeLong) Bitner, Howard and Sarah Frances 
(Johnson) Bitner, Nathan and Emma (Metzger) Bitner, Rev. Matthew 
S. and Emma Blair, Dr. John M. Bright, Clyde and Alice (Berry) 
Brown, Willis P. and Annie (Lingle) Bullock, Erastus and Harriet 
(Bitner) Cade — married July 9, 1871, widow Mary E. Casselberry and 
family, George and Lizzie Clark, Thomas J. and Elvira (Cottle) Confer, 
John F. and Elizabeth (Winslow) Cook, Thomas and Elizabeth (Lan- 
nen) Cox, Frank and Mary E. Crispen, Levi and Joanna (Linn) Darrah 
— Joanna died in 1877, William and Catharine (Shearer) DeHaas, 
David and Jesse (Mantle) Downs, widow Julia (Carver) Dunkle and 
family, John B. and Annie (Quay) Earon, John and Susan (Stoler) 
Eaton and David H. and Ella J. (Whiting ?) Eyer. 

Also Rev. Theodore and Martha (Williams) Faus — married August 
19, 1879, Thomas and Mary Jane (Ammerman) Furl, J. Irvin and 
Catharine (Rose) Gardner, Frederick C. and M. Delinda (Bitner) 
Glossner — married December 26, 1878, H. Kirk and Charity (Miller) 
Graham — later lived briefly in Liberty Township, William and Mary 
(Nestlerode) Haagen, Jesse S. and Blanche (Owens) Hall, H. D. and 
Amelia Hanscom, James and Susan J. (Dickey) Harleman, George and 
Loretta (Rogers) Hastings — married September 26, 1871, Charles and 
Phoebe Heimer — both bom in Germany, Philip and Mary (Lentz) 
Heimer, Charles and Annie (McGhee) Heverly, Peter and Julia 
(Batschelet) Hoffman, Joseph and Edith (Berry) Johnson, William N. 
and Emily (Mapes) Johnson, Charles W. and Lydia (DeLong) Jones — 
her first husband was Robert Mann, Charles and Rebecca Keyes, Uriah 
and Sarah (McCloskey) Kitchen, Samuel "Long Division" and Ellen 
(Overton) Kunes, Daniel and Louise (Alexander) Leyden and Hezekiah 
and Mary (Bullock) Lindsey. 

Also Joseph Britten and Mary E. (Williams) Linn — married May 7, 
1876, Thomas W. and Mary C. (Kane) Linn, William R. and Mary C. 
(McBride) Linn, John and Susan (Smith) Longshore, Henry F. and 
Eliza (Heverly) Lose, Timothy and Mary E. (Steiner) McCarthy, 
Campbell and Rachel (Watkins) McCloskey, Ira and Elizabeth (Pot- 
ter) McCloskey, Joseph and Mary (Martin) Masden, Winfield Scott 
and Mary L. (Ammerman) Meredith, James and Ella (Martin) 
Metzger — married February 10, 1876, widower John Miller and his 
second wife, Janetta (David) Smith Miller — married March 25, 1874, 
Matthew and Amanda (McCloskey) Miller, Robert and Margaret Ann 


. -■■£• 

Miller, William B. and Elizabeth Miller, Salathial and Emily 
(Quigley) Mobley — married January 11, 1853, James and Sarah Jane 
(Counsil?) Moore, Dr. Henry H. and Susan (Hartswick) Mothers- 
baugh, Andrew and Mary (Cook) Myers, Christian and Mary J. 
(Earon) Myers, John and Mary Myers and William G. and Elizabeth 
(Freeze) Myers. 

Also Charles W. and Alice (Walz) Packer — married April 4, 1878, 
Frederick and Alice (Heltman) Robb, Barnard and Sarah (McCloskey) 
Rupert, Levi and Lydia (Linn) Rupert — second wife was Lydia 
(Bechdel) Bumgardner — third wife was Hannah (Rutland) Quigley, 
Theodore and Elizabeth (Rhine) Rupert, William and Candace (Ridge) 
Rupert — later in Marion and Liberty Townships, Elijah and Susan 
(Williams) Searle, James E. and Mary (Lucas) Shearer — previously in 
Liberty, later in Lamar Township, Frank L. and Jennie W. Smith, 
Joseph and Ella (Packer) Smith, widow Margaret Strawcutter and 
family, William F. and Annie (Grove) Strunk, Dr. Joseph E. and 
Emma "(McDowell) Tibbins — married in June, 1873 — first wife was 
Emma Hoy, John G. and Julia Walz, Warren and Lizzie A. Walz, 
widower Hugh White and family, C. Allison and Elizabeth (Kunes) 
Williams, George W. and Kate (Hubbard) Williams, Henry C. B. and 
Albina (Brickley) Williams — second wife was Mary Fredericy, Wilson 
and Laura K. (Martin) Williams, Charles C. and Emma (Holloway) 
Winslow and John and Sophia (Hanscomb) Yaudes. 

Additional Families 1880 to 1900 
(1890 census records destroyed by fire) 

Charles and Sarah H. Baker, Frank and Elizabeth Barner, John and 
Elnora Batschelet, Samuel and Laura (Martin) Batschelet, Harry E. 
and Florence A. Beaver, Ernest and Annie (Waite) Berry, Thomas and 
Henrietta (Glossner) Berry, William and Florence G. Berry, Oliver and 
Cora A. (Mortimer) Bitner, Ambrose and Carrie (Clark) Brady, 
Charles E. "Dix" and Mary (Mann) and Susan (Kitchen) Bullock, 
George A. and Mary Bush, Mr. and Elsie (Hastings) Chambers, George 
A. and Annie E. Clark, Harry B. and Josephine (Merrey) Clark, W. 
Edgar and Kate Clark, Cline Quigley and Mary Frances (Loomis) and 
Lula (Linn) Confer, Edward and Elva K. (Strunk) and Tacie (Allen) 
Spangler DeHaas, John P. and Emma Clara (McGhee) DeHaas, 
George and Emma L. (Summers) Deise, Stephen and Cynthia (Trex- 
ler) Deise, J. Irvin and Mabel B. (Hoffman) DeLong, Adam and 
Elizabeth (Muthler) Earon, Wilson and Cora (Neff) Forcey, Frank and 
Matilda Furl, G. Thomas and Annie (Fearon) Furst, Napoleon and El- 
len (David) Gangnon and John and Annie (Haagen) Glossner. 


Also Samuel and Amanda (Haagen) and Mary Emily (Mapes) Gloss- 
ner, Joseph Tibbins and Edith (Williams) Gunsallus, Alpheus and 
Maud (Packer) Hall — married October 27, 1885, Thomas and Annie 
R. Heberling, Charles and Catharine Heimer — her second husband 
was widower David Smith, Bradley and Grace (Stahl) Herr, Edward 
and Myrtle (Williams) Heverly, Harry and Annie M. Heverly, John 
and Margaret C. Huff, John and Caroline Hunter, G. B. McClellan 
"Mack" and Sarah E. (Miller) Johnson, Lewis and Annie G. Johnson, 
George and Mary Keagle, Harry and Josephine (Watkins) Kitchen, 
Oscar and Alma M. (Swartz) Kunes, William and Sarah P. Lamkin, 
Albert and Mary E. Laubach, Chatham and Agnes (Quigley) Linn, 
Harry and Clara (Gephart) McCloskey, Mr. and Edith McCloskey, 
George C. and Minnie M. (Brady) McGhee, Oscar and Jemima 
(Haagen) McGhee, Robert and Hattie (Haagen) McGhee, Harvey and 
Clara (McCloskey) Mann, James A. and Elizabeth (Burd) Mann, Wil- 
liam and Susan (Wilson) Mann, William and Lydia (Breon) Marr, 
Alexander and Mary J. Martin, Edward and Bertha (Wren) Martz and 
Joseph and Eliza (Magnus) Bailey Merrey. 

Also Jerome and Ada (Gunsallus) Miller — married February 26, 
1890, John B. and Alice (Smith) Miller, John J. and Annie S. Miller, 
Lewis and Maud (Galbraith) Miller, W. Rothrock and Eliza (Sollars) 
and Emma (Sollars) Miller, Edwin and Sarah A. (Hall) Mobley, 
Frederick and Susan (Earon) Muthler, Frank P. and Mary (Falls) 
Myers — second wife was Mary Mayes, John and Josie Nelson, David 
and Margaret (Gardner) Packer, Harry and Lydia (Singer) Packer, 
Elmer and Emma V. (Scantlin) Peters, George and Theda (Masden) 
Peters, John and Alta (Bitner) Peter, William C. and Emma (Gummo) 
and Mary (Walker) Myers Peter, Charles and Adaline (McCloskey) 
Quay, Edwin R. and Elizabeth (Gould) Reed, Joseph Riter, Charles 
and Ella Mae Rothrock, Daniel and Clarissa "Clara" (Smith) Rowe, B. 
Frank and Sarah Jane (Rhine) Rupert, George and Ella (McCarthy) 
Rupert, Harry and Susan (Nestlerode) Rupert, Peter and Ella (John- 
son) Rupert, G. B. McClellan "Clell" and Ida (Lingenfelter) Ruple, 
Henry and Deborah (Whitefield) Salisbury, Charles and Annie (Huff) 
Salmon, Edward and Ellen (Miller) Scantlin, Charles and Eva M. 
Shafer and William and Sadie A. Shafer. 

Also George and Isabella (Leonard) Shearer, William and Amanda 
Shearer, Alexander and Hannah Shoemaker, Charles and Mary 
(Bitner) Slocum, Edwin and Mary Ida (Aley) Smith, Temple C. and 
Eliza Jane (Gardner) Smith, George M. and Amanda E. (Myers ?) 
Snyder, Charles and Sarah J. (Boyer) Streck, Ellis and Hilda 
(Anderson) Sundin, John and Ida (Furl) Swartz, Nathan Mitchell and 
Alice (Stager) Swartz — her second husband was Joseph Swartz, B. 


Frank and Mary E. Thompson, Percy and Jennie (Gardner) Trexler, 
Harvey and Annie (Knarr) Wagner, John W. and Sarah A. (DeLong) 
Waite — second wife was Fannie Lyons, James and Minnie M. (Har- 
ris) Wensel, David and Sarah Virginia (Gunsallus) Whamond, Frank 
and Sallie M. Williams, George and Rachel J. (Baney) Williams, John 
and Charlotte "Lottie" (Hall) Beschler Winklebleck, Charles and Car- 
rie Emma (Strunk) Winslow and Edward and Annie (Counsil) 


Chapter XI 

Afterthoughts and 
Supplemental Notes 

In the year 1900, according to census records, our area had a popula- 
tion of 972, with 525 in our township and 447 in our borough. Of that 
total only twenty -three are known to be still living. Of these just four 
reside here now. They are: Laura Confer, daughter of David and 
Demaris (Quay) Mapes; Bertha Hepler, daughter of Timothy and 
Mary (Steiner) McCarthy; Charles Martz, son of Edward and Bertha 
(Wren) Martz, and Myra Peters, daughter of George and Theda 
(Masden) Peters. The following still live in our broad general area: Nel- 
lie Cole, daughter of Lewis and Maud (Galbraith) Miller; Bertha 
Cryder, daughter of Chatham and Agnes (Quigley) Linn; Lester 
DeLong, son of J. Irvin and Mabel (Hoffman) DeLong; Orpha Ever, 
daughter of William and Mary (McKibben) Bickel; Elma Glossner, 
daughter of John and Alta (Bitner) Peters; Hugh Linn, son of Chatham 
and Agnes, above; Florence and Chester McGhee, daughter and son of 
Oscar and Jemima (Haagen) McGhee; Harry Peters, son of William 
and Emma (Gummo) Peters; Ruth and Victor Peters, daughter and son 
of John and Alta, above; Pearl Putman Randals, daughter of George 
and Mollie "Maud" (Rorabaugh) Linn, and Olga Sundin, daughter of 
Ellis and Hilda (Anderson) Sundin. Residing at more distant points, 
are: Jesse W. Bridgens, son of William and Sarah (Mapes) Bridgens; 
Jesse V. Glossner, son of Frederick and Mary Delinda (Bitner) Gloss- 
ner; Ruthel Lasher, daughter of Percy and Jennie (Gardner) Trexler; 
Marie Leeuwerick, daughter of John W. and Sarah (DeLong) Waite, 
and George B. "Rabbit" Miller, son of W. Rothrock and Emma (Sol- 
lars) Miller. 

The development of Furst's Climax Healer, generally known as Tom- 
my Furst's salve, was described earlier. Now it has been learned that 
several households still possess a quantity of this product. Mentioned 
occasionally in local conversations, even to this day, is Spruce Beer, a 
popular soft drink concoction that was processed and bottled by 
Richard Berryhill. Local advertising signs proclaimed his thirst 
quencher as, "The National Drink." After Mr. Berryhill's death a 


number of area people, including some of his close relatives, tried to 
duplicate his recipe. Their failures caused these people to proclaim that 
he took the real recipe with him. Another local product, very popular in 
its day and still talked about, was John Hunter's bologna. Made of 
coarsely -ground beef with crushed crackers added as a filler, it was the 
forerunner of the dry bologna being marketed today. There were, 
however, several other factors that made Mr. Hunter's product superior 
to many that are available at this time. He kept continuous control of 
the temperature of the kettle water, in which the stuffed product was 
submerged, and the timing was very important. The coils of bologna 
were then exposed to hickory smoke of the proper density for exactly 
the right length of time. 

Kolon Kleener, an effective laxative with cathartic qualities, was 
prepared and distributed in the 1920's by the McKean brothers, 
Sheldon and Lyle, who are listed elsewhere as barbers. Their product 
had the appearance of powdered sugar, but the taste was quite dif- 
ferent. It was boxed in the old-style, round, half-pint ice cream boxes. 
^The label listed Federal Laboratories of Beech Creek as the manufac- 
turer. More importantly, however, was the fact that the label claimed 
the recommendation of Dr. George H. Tibbins. The McKean brothers 
were never pressed to reveal their formula. However, it was generally 
conjectured that the main ingredient was pure epsom salts with 
something added to make the taste more appealing. Not a bad idea! 
William and Flora (Heichel) DeWitt and their three children lived on 
Vesper Street in the house now occupied by the Lee Waite family. Mr. 
DeWitt, a carpenter and handyman, is best remembered for his 
development of a hair tonic. Prior to putting his discovery on the 
market, it is reported, he decided to try it on himself and lost all his 
hair. Many heavy-bearded, hard-to-shave men later remarked that 
they'd like to have some of his product for their faces. 

As was likely the case throughout the country during prohibition, a 
number of area residents attempted to produce a better quality of 
home-brewed beer. For some it was a case of trying to increase the de- 
mand for their illegally-sold brew. For most it was merely trying to 
improve the taste of a product used strictly for home consumption. One 
local resident, who did not imbibe in alcoholic drinks, but upon hearing 
so much talk about the making of home brew, decided to "set an old 
hen," a common term for the home brewing process. He never men- 
tioned how well his experiment turned out or how he disposed of it. 
Equally interesting in those days was the various types of additives 
that went into a barrel of sweet cider to produce a tastier, peppier hard 
cider that would not turn to vinegar. 

The stone masonry Kessinger building on Main Street stands as a 


monument to the late William F. Kessinger (1875-1947), a son of H. 
Franklin and Anna (Nestlerode) Kessinger. Having been born and 
lived at Eagleville Station, Billy was, therefore, not a local resident. 
Nevertheless, he was a part of us during many years of the building's 
construction. Then, too, he had many, many local cousins, some being 
double cousins. Except for the placement of structural steel, the 
electrical wiring and other modem day features, Billy, aided first by 
Barney Rupert, and later by Hallie Slaterbeck, performed all the 
masonry and carpentry chores. At the outset of construction Billy had 
detailed the project to several onlookers, including George C. McGhee. 
Their seemingly appropriate response was, "You'll never get it 
finished." After the building was completed Billy enjoyed recounting 
this conversation. He is buried at the local Hays-Fearon cemetery. 

Prior to the construction of his garage on Main Street, Thomas F. 
Kessinger maintained his automobile repair shop in a part of the old 
Sykes garage, a two story structure on Locust Street. This same 
building was later used for auto repairs by Harry and Clarence DeLong, 
sons of Irvin and Mabel (Hoffman) DeLong, by Clyde Lewis, and by 
Edwin Williams, a son of John and Belle (Winters) Williams. Mr. Wil- 
liams later moved his shop to the Cook building at the intersection on 
Main and Water Streets, where William B. Cook, a son of Charles and 
Dora (Bechdel) Cook, later conducted his automobile dealership. Some 
time afterward Paul Bechdel, a son of Claude and Dorothy (Bechdel) 
Bechdel, remodeled the Cook building to include a show room for 
Kaiser-Frazier automobiles. This same building now serves as Borough 
headquarters. The Sykes garage building was originally constructed by 
Edward Sykes for his Overland automobile agency. The present-day 
auto repair business of Fred Berry, son of Joseph and Pauline (Mc- 
Closkey) Berry, is located in our township near the house where Fred's 
grandparents, Clair and Mabel (DeHaas) Berry raised a large family. 

It was pointed out in a previous chapter that families quite often 
gave a new-born baby the same name as an older, deceased sibling. 
Mentioned was the family of Joseph M. and Janetta (David) Smith. 
Their second son, Charles P., who was born July 2, 1834, died October 
15, 1835. On August 22, 1837 another son was bom into this family. He 
was likewise named Charles P. In 1845 the Smith family was blessed 
with their third daughter, who was named Emily. Emily died on Oc- 
tober 3, 1850. Three years later another daughter, who was destined to 
receive the name Emily, came into the world. This Emily, the 
fourteenth of fifteen children, was followed by Alice, who grew up to 
marry John B. Miller. Doris Miller is a granddaughter. Back on 
January 1, 1809 a son, to be named Christian, was born to Christian 
and Mary (Leathers) Bechdel, the great, great grandparents of Lula 




7Vi = 

Clark, Dorothy Bechdel and Frank Bechdel of our town. This child died 
six weeks later. When the next son was born on October 14, 1812, he 
was also given the name Christian. This Christian married Lydia 
Bechdel, his full cousin. The marrying of first cousins was not uncom- 
mon in those days. Harold and Joseph Packer are descendants of Chris- 
tian and Lydia. Close by in neighboring Liberty Township on February 
2, 1878 James W. Gunsallus and his second wife, Margaret J. (Wensel) 
Gunsallus, lost their son, James, age three. A son born to this couple on 
February 19, 1879 was thereupon given the name James, but usually 
called "Frankie" because of his middle name. This lad died at age nine 
and is buried as James F. alongside his older brother, James. Fisher D. 
Ligget, a son of John and Susannah (Neff) Ligget, was born about i840. 
However, he was not the first Fisher Ligget in this family. His older 
brother, Fisher, had died just shortly before his own birth. On March 5, 
1867 Fisher married Harriet "Hattie" Mobley, a daughter of Salathial 
and Mary (Quigley) Mobley. Fisher and Hattie later moved to Ohio, 
the state where her father was bom, and settled in Canton. In the 
listing of Civil War soldiers in Linn's History Fisher Ligget is er- 
roneously listed as Fisher Lingle. John and Susannah Ligget are 
buried at Hays-Fearon cemetery. 

The male co-author of this history was brought into this world by Dr. 
P. McDowell Tibbins, a neighbor of the Lingles and a close friend of 
Clinton County Judge Harry Alvan Hall. When Dr. Tibbins became 
aware that the parents of the new-born had not decided on a name, and 
possibly in fear that the ugly little fellow might become his own 
namesake, he suggested the name Harry Alvan. His suggestion was ac- 
cepted. Several years later, seeing little Harry Alvan sitting along the 
sidewalk, Mrs. Mary (Saylor) Fearon asked the boy his name even 
though she already knew it. His answer was, "Harry Alvan Lingle 
Hall." Mrs. Fearon always enjoyed telling others how the lad had given 
his name. It might be added that to Dr. Tibbins this particular person 
was always Harry Alvan, not just Harry. This same Harry Alvan, while 
attending the Grange Fair at Centre Hall in August, 1980, was ap- 
proached by a man who had grown up in the Beech Creek area. "Do you 
remember," he asked, "when you cut my hair?" The answer was "Yes." 
The Lingle barber shop was an improvised area in the Lingle barn, 
where an old dentist chair with a crank-up seat served a very useful 
purpose. The crank for the seat did double duty. It was borrowed from 
the grind stone, located in another part of the barn. The patrons were 
mostly boys and a number of old-timers of that day, including Harvey 
Mann, George Peters, Sr., Bob Renninger, Charles Hunter, James 
Bitner and others. One young client, who had been receiving his cut- 
rate hair cut regularly, decided he could save even more by doing the 



job himself. On his next visit to the Lingle shop he had one clipper- 
width swath up the right side of his head and another swath in the 
back. When he left he was very happy, not just because his botchery 
was corrected for just ten cents, but also because the barber bought his 
clippers for exactly the same amount he had paid for them. The clipper 
deal provided that the patron would accept payment in terms of future 
hair cuts rather than outright cash. 

Census records reveal that in earlier days many girls, particularly 
teenagers, did live-in house work and were classified as servants. In 
1880, for example, Isabelle and Annie Bowes, daughters of James and 
Sarah (Bechdel) Bowes of Liberty Township, were living in Beech 
Creek with the families of Stillman Keyes and Charles Keyes, respec- 
tively. Isabelle, who was born in 1860, before the National Census was 
taken, and not in 1861 as she had always believed, later married J. 
Alfred Miller, youngest son of John and Nancy (Nestlerode) Miller of 
Beech Creek Township. Annie married John Wallace. Just three doors 
from the Charles Keyes home, Virginia DeHaas, oldest daughter of J. 
Biley DeHaas and his first wife, Mary (Bechdel) DeHaas, was doing 
domestic work in the William and Elmira (White) Trexler home. 
Virginia later married William Kintzing. Sometimes these young 
domestics were enumerated both in their own homes and also in the 
households where they worked, as was the case of Virginia DeHaas. 
But, just as often they were not listed anywhere, each family believing 
that she would be counted in the other household. Live-ins in those 
days very often included parents of one or both of the householders, 
young men doing farm work, and grandchildren, or others, who were 
orphaned particularly by the loss of their mothers. 

In early days many females, who, at birth, received the middle name, 
Jane, were known throughout most of their lives as Jane with 
their first name used as the middle name, or dropped entirely. 
In some instances the middle name, Jane, was substituted for the 
actual first name before the child was old enough to realize she had 
a name. In other cases the child may have grown to womanhood 
before her middle name was completely adopted as her given name. In 
either instance she was usually called "Jennie," the common 
nickname, for Jane. To check in later years the exact full name as- 
signed at birth was difficult. Baptismal records were seldom preserved. 
Family bible records, if any, provided the best help, especially if they 
had been completed on a timely basis. However, in most cases no bible 
entries were made until and unless the one person who was recognized 
as the best hand writer in the area was engaged — for a fee. At one time 
Irvin DeLong, son of J. I. DeLong and his first wife, Ellen (Gardner) 
DeLong, while still a young man, did much of this writing. Irvin's 


sister, Mary Jane, who married W. Frank Berry, a local leather worker, 
presents a perfect example of what this paragraph set out to show. 
Census records listed her as Mary Jane during the first thirty -five years 
of her life. But, by 1900 she was Jennie M., the name by which she was 
known the remainder of her life, and by which she is buried at Hays- 
Fearon cemetery 

Many of the items in this story, and especially in this chapter, were 
prepared in answer to questions that arise in present-day conversa- 
tions. This particular paragraph is a typical example. With the recent 
closing of the Gundlach Garage on Main Street, which had been 
originally opened by Robert Dunlap, we now have just two gasoline 
retailers, the Myers Garage and the Scantlin Garage. Gasoline dis- 
pensers of the past included the Kessinger Garage, the Beech Creek 
Hotel, Dave Bitner's Place and the service station owned by the late 
Clair Johnson, all on Main Street. On Maple Avenue gasoline was sold 
at the residence of I. J. Rohrbaugh and at the Beech Haven, operated 
by Jack DeSau. On Locust Street it was sold at the Sykes store and 
later at the garage of Clyde Lewis. On Route 364 gasoline could be ob- 
tained at the farm home of Charles and Margaret Rupert and son, Tor- 
rence, now the home of William and Marilyn Bitner. Our first gasoline 
dispensing pumps required one full course of the crank for each gallon. 
Then the crank had to be turned back to its original position. Each gal- 
lon was registered by the hand of a clock-like dial. This style pump was 
later replaced by a type that required hand pumping the desired 

A section of the Haven Homes manufacturing complex. 


number of gallons, up to five, into a large glass cylinder at the top of the 
pump. When released the fluid flowed by gravity through the hose. 

Joseph C. Earon (1883-1957), son of John and Anna (Quay) Earon, 
did farming during his first thirty-five working years. At the same time 
he mastered the blacksmithing trade, including the shoeing of horses. 
When Joe retired from farming and moved to town he fired up his forge 
and kept busy throughout his remaining years. It has been suggested 
that Joe should have been included in the listing of blacksmiths in 
Chapter IV. The authors agree. 

For the 1869-1870 period there was published a directory of the 
business and professional people and the skilled craftsmen in a number 
of towns in central Pennsylvania. Lock Haven, Beech Creek, Howard 
and Mt. Eagle of this general area were included. This particular 
publication reveals that our own David Mapes was then serving as one 
of our three county auditors. This information had not come to light in 
any previous research. This hard bound book is filled with advertise- 
ments and may have been published specifically for the income from 
them. The name of the printer could not be found. The Beech Creek 
listings failed to include Fleming Trexler among the shoemakers. He 
had already mastered the trade. Missing from their carpenter listings 
were John I. Kunes and James McGhee. Irvin Hanscome was not in- 
cluded with the blacksmiths, while John W. Crays and Charles W. 
Montgomery did not show up in their profession as engineers. Their 
listings showed seven storekeepers, but failed to include George Furst, 
our leading merchant at that time, and Enoch Hastings, who had 
opened his store several years earlier. They named six persons engaged 
in the production or sale of lumber, two of whom were manufacturing 
shingles, but they failed to include John A. Cook. John, shortly 
thereafter, left our area, but is buried at Hays-Fearon cemetery 
alongside his wife, a Hays descendant. Two prominent grist millers, 
Joseph M. DeHaas and William B. Foresman were not named. Also 
missing were Daniel Kunes, the local butcher, and John Harleman, a 
stone mason. During the years covered by this book and for many years 
after, Rachel Huff, the widow of Edmond Huff, was supporting her 
young family by doing weaving in her own home. She should have been 
recognized. Richard Gundlach of our town has a copy of the book refer- 
red to herein. 

In the chapter dealing with industry mention was made of the milk 
processing plant on Main Street in a small building that now serves as 
a family residence. This plant, then known as a skimming plant, was a 
division of the Bellefonte Creamery. In April, 1902 the operation was 
discontinued and the equipment was moved to Howard by Boyd N. 
Wilson, then living at Howard. Mr. Wilson, a native of our area was a 


son of William J. and Barbara (Myers) Wilson. Boyd's wife, Gertrude, 
also an area native, was a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Kane) Linn. 
Incidentally, Harry Wilson, who operated a clothing store in Lock 
Haven for many years, was a brother of Boyd. Their sister, Mary, mar- 
ried Sherman Holter, whose mother, Mary (Miller) Holter, was raised 
in our township. 

The Lock Haven Evening Express reported on April 26, 1902 that 
Mr. L. Richardson, proprietor of the drug store in Beech Creek, was 
visiting Costello, Pa. Efforts to learn the exact location of his place of 
business were not successful. 

For the school year of 1891-1892 the Beech Creek Borough school 
pupils having perfect attendance were listed in the local news column 
of the Lock Haven weekly newspaper. The following were named: 
Frank and Charles Pollock, Robert and Trenna Bullock, Ellery and 
Thomas Winslow, Frank and Mamie Snyder, Clarence Williams, 
George Searle, Taylor Slacker, George Heverly, George Miller, Ada and 
Mattie Packer, Pansy and Jennie Casselberry, Ida and Altie Slacker, 
Frances Harvey, Edith and Vivian Berry, Ellen and Florence Blair, 
Ethel McGhee, Laura Smith, Josie Burlingame, Roy Mobley, Willie 
Lamkin, Harry Confer, John Miller, Damie and Ira Lingle, Walter Mil- 
ler, Haven and Lemmie Farwell, Ralph Hall, Charles Miller, Jesse and 
Sherman Heverly, Willie Merrey, Lula McKean, Mae McCarthy, Ella 
Miller, Mabel Shearer, Bertha Keagle, Cora Snyder, Blanche Bridgens, 
Alva Linn, Elida Lorrah, John W. Johnson and Jennie Deise. The 
teachers were Cora Chatham and Dora Bechdel (later Cook), the 
mother of William B. Cook, now of Lock Haven. It is interesting to note 
that of the thirty-three family names represented by the pupils only 
nine families of the same names live here today. Of these nine at least 
four are from entirely different family lines. 

Ira E. Cowling, teacher at the Hubbard School in Beech Creek 
Township, presented a printed souvenir card to each of his 1898-1899 
school term pupils. The card, which included the pupils' names, in- 
dicates a school term of 120 days. The pupils were Gertrude Batschelet, 
Mabel Brady, Floyd Furl, John Furl, Lottie Gunsallus, May Gunsallus, 
Myra Gunsallus, Charles Heimer, Jacob Heimer, Tillie Heimer, John 
Herr, Samuel Herr, Charlotte Hubbard, Morris Hubbard, Frank Kuhn, 
Florence "Floy" Linn, Fountain Linn, Kelsey Linn, Roy Linn, George 
Miller, John Miller, Percy Miller, Augustus Smith, Janet Smith and 
Annabelle Whamond. Of the twenty-five pupils only seven remained 
here and raised families. 

Back in the days when the Beech Creek Railroad was a very busy line 
Bert Hill of Jersey Shore, a railroad employee, wrote a poem entitled, 
"Old Timers on the Beech Creek." The poem of Mr. Hill, who had mar- 


ried a Beech Creek girl, depicted the duties of a number of his fellow 
workers. His poem was published in the Lock Haven Express in the late 
1970's. Familiar names mentioned were George Keagle, John Winslow, 
Ed Leyden, Wilson Forcey, William Bartley, William Ruple, Oscar 
DeLong, Gray Hastings, Thomas Winslow, John Bowes, George Bul- 
lock, James Harvey, Joe and Fred Roffe, Harry Packer, Charles Bitner, 
Charles Long, Clair Berry, Joe McCloskey, Pat McLaughlin and Phil 
Frederick, who, many years later, closed out his career at the Beech 
Creek station. The accidental death of Mr. Bartley, while employed on 
the track, was reported in an earlier chapter. 

Our own Dr. George H. Tibbins, then practicing' in Wyoming 
County, is credited as being the first person to drive an automobile into 
Clinton County. This year was about 1898 and the doctor was driving to 
Beech Creek to visit his father, Dr. J. E. Tibbins. Several years earlier 
the Hi Henry Circus had brought an automobile to Clinton County. 
However, Dr. Tibbins held the distinction of driving the first car into 
our county and our town. At that very time Dr. George may have been 
contemplating moving his practice to Beech Creek, which he did 
several years later. 

Deeper research reveals that the "Seven Kitchens" on Main Street 
became a reality only after Dick Berryhill's inn and his wagon repair 
shop had been been joined to form a single unit. A close look at the pic- 
ture of his building, which is displayed in this book, shows the exact 
place where the two structures had been attached, Also showing in the 
picture is a tiny corner of the roof of Silas Hess store building, which 
was next door, to the East. An 1862 map, which identifies the three 
separate buildings, is in possession of William Tyson of our town. 
George D. Hess later built a garage on the site of the Silas Hess store 
building. If any family relationship existed between Silas Hess and 
George D. Hess, it has not been established. However, their wives were 
not-too-distant cousins. 

Much has been written regarding Buckman "Buck" Claflin and his 
daughter, Victoria (Claflin) Woodhull-Martin, the Equal Rights 
party's candidate for U. S. president in 1872. Some accounts claim that 
the Claflin family lived here two, and possibly three, times. If so, each 
stay was short. Official assessment records reveal that "Buck" was 
taxed as a storekeeper in 1829. For the 1830 taxable year he was marked 
"Gone." There is no record of his being assessed at any time as a school 
teacher, the occupation generally associated with his residence here. 
The Claflin family is not listed in any of the decennial census records of 
our area. 

Most of the credit for the construction of the Wesleyan Church 
building on Main Street should go to the late B. Frank Bowers. Mr. 


Bowers, in earlier years, had come from the Flat Rock, now Rote, area 
of Lamar Township and married Annie Shilling, a daughter of Thomas 
and Mary (Wolfe) Shilling. Frank, an all-round handyman, did the 
planning, supervising and all the skilled chores throughout the 
building's complete construction. A unique feature was the extension of 
the foundation wall sufficiently beyond the framework to provide a 
base for brick veneering, if ever added. This gives the building a 
somewhat unusual, yet attractive, appearance. 

In 1980 a project to provide public housing for the elderly was an- 
nounced for Beech Creek Borough. Plans are to locate the structures 
just off East Main Street, to the South. At about the same time plans 
were developed to determine the feasibility of producing, by water 
power at Sayers Dam, electricity to be sold to West Penn Power Com- 
pany for distribution in this part of Lower Bald Eagle Valley. It is as- 
sumed that in these days of fuel conservation the power company 
would welcome an additional supply of current if, of course, it can be 
produced competitively. 

In 1892 the Beech Creek Normal School was organized by J. E. 
Wilson and Dr. Rolla B. Fore, who later married Carrie DeLong and 

Three generations of 
Lingle stilt walkers in 
1980 — Harry, David 
and Cindy. 


lived in Blanchard. The first ten -week term started on April 11 of that 
year. Courses were offered in elocution, composition, rhetoric, logic, 
literature, mathematics and at least fifteen additional fields. No infor- 
mation is available to show how long this school was continued. 

For a number of years the McKean brothers, Sheldon and Lyle, 
operated a combination pool hall and barber shop on Main Street. 
Sheldon took full charge of the pool room, while Lyle limited his work 
almost entirely to barbering. On one particular evening when 
Sheldon's assistant was running the pool room, and Lyle, too, was ab- 
sent, George Montgomery "Mont" Gunsallus, son of Ira and Abigail 
(Lucas) Gunsallus, stopped in for a shave. Soon after "Monte" had 
seated himself in the barber chair Walter E. "Beechie" Miller, who was 
among those present, was at his side. To the complete amazement of all 
the bystanders "Beechie" forthrightly proceeded to administer the 
shave. Mr. Gunsallus, quite appreciative of his free shave, was soon on 
his way. A short time later "Beechie," the son of J. Orrie and Virginia 
(Campman) Miller, possibly buoyed by this successful experience, 
entered barber school, where he learned a trade that he followed for the 
next fifty-one years. 
In 1900 John Rothrock of Beech Creek Township was hailed by various 
newspapers as the youngest telegraph operator in the state. John was a 
son of Charles and Mary Ella (Haagen) Rothrock. He was a grandson of 
Dr. Thomas Rothrock of Eagleville, who died that very same year, and 
of John and Fayetta (Brungard) Haagen of our township. At the time of 
the citation John was. substituting for his ill father, one of two brothers, 
who had become telegraph operators on the Bald Eagle Valley 
Railroad. His family was living at the southern end of what is now 
Wynn Avenue. When one is reminded that this young man was sending 
telegraph messages and directing train crews, he or she will be very sur- 
prised to learn that John was then just twelve years of age. He died un- 
married in 1961, and is buried at Hays-Fearon cemetery beside his 
mother, who died three years earlier at age eighty-nine. 

The mentioning of the Haagen name in the paragraph above is a 
reminder of Bill Haagen's grain threshing outfit. Starting in late Sum- 
mer each year Mr. Haagen moved from farm to farm. His powerful 
steam engine had the general appearance of a dinkey locomotive. When 
followed by the water tank wagon, the thresher and the baler, one was 
apt to think that a train had come off the track and onto the highway. 
Mr. Haagen, a son of John and Fayetta, raised a family of fifteen in our 

Historical publications of 1890 state that William Clark, father of 
James Clark, the Water Street merchant, settled here in 1792. William 
was actually only eight years of age in 1792. Perhaps the reference is to 


James Clark's grandfather, also named William, and the first of a 
number of area coopers of the Clark name. Even so, the 1792 date 
seems incorrect since the senior William was not assessed until 1815, 
and was not listed on local census records until 1820. In 1819 the 
younger William, who had likewise learned the cooper trade, was as- 
sessed for the first time, appearing on the "Single Man" list. In 1820 
the younger William was marked "Married," his wife being Sarah 
Hays, a daughter of Dickie and Anna Hays. William and Sarah were 
not about to let the name "William" die. Their son of that same name 
married Charlotte Hall on March 6, 1855. Charlotte was a daughter of 
Jesse and Elizabeth (Johnson) Hall. 

In 1870 William Rupert was officially listed as a carpenter. By 1875 
he became sufficiently interested in the field of cabinet making to enter 
the coffin manufacturing business. In a historical publication of 1875 
he was listed as the local undertaker. However by 1880 he had 
redirected his woodworking talents toward wagon making as noted in 
an earlier chapter of this story. Our early undertakers, it should be 
pointed out, were primarily cabinet makers who specialized in coffins. 
Prior to Mr. Rupert's brief stint in undertaking, and for the sixty-five 
following years, we were without a local undertaker. 

In an earlier chapter mention was made of the already high number 
of men employed by the local brick plant at the time of its eighth year 
of operation in 1909. These figures were obtained from an unofficial sur- 
vey of our town prepared, perhaps, by a telephone company. At that 
time two telephone companies, Bell and Commercial, were competing 
for local subscribers. The Commercial company, which established a 
local exchange, was already in the lead, and eventually won out, but 
not until the 1920's. During the intervening years some local sub- 
scribers had both Bell and Commercial connections. In 1909 twelve 
local men, each of whom is identified in a previous chapter, were 
employed by our two railroads as telegraph operators. Such a high 
number leads one to assume that a number of these operators were 
employed at towers and stations at other points. Then, too, some may 
have been trainees. The one noticeable statistic in the 1909 survey in- 
dicates the decline that was taking place in the number of persons 
employed in lumber production. When the official census records for 
the 1910 enumeration are eventually released they should closely con- 
form to the data contained herein. 

Fleming P. Trexler, long-time local shoemaker and outstanding 
citizen, was known for his tenor singing voice. He was often called upon 
to sing a particular song, that was not only his favorite but also the 
favorite of audiences — Tenting on the Old Camp Ground. Flem was 
still a young boy when his family came here from Jersey Shore. Some 


time after he closed his cobbler shop Michael Salvia of Lock Haven 
opened a shoe repair shop in the small building on Main Street, where 
Clarence Rossman had maintained an office for insurance sales and 
local tax collection. Mr. Salvia arrived daily on the morning train, car- 
rying a basket that contained enough food for two meals. He departed 
each evening on the night train. 

As previously stated the National census records for the year 1890 
were destroyed by fire. However, in that same year a special census of 
Civil War veterans, or their surviving spouses, was completed. This 
enumeration revealed each soldier's rank, branch of service, regiment 
and company, and included the enlistment and discharge dates. The 
following from our area were listed: Joseph Bitner, Joseph Brady, Wil- 
liam A. Bridgens, William T. Buck, Margaret Bullock (widow of Wil- 
liam C), Nelson Caldwell, John Cook, James Riley DeHaas, John C. 
DeLong, William J. Eyer, James A. Falls, John E. Gummo, James 
Harleman, John S. Harleman, Enoch W. Hastings, Joseph Heverly, 
Peter Hoffman, Uriah Kitchen, Daniel Leyden, Francis Mills Linn, 
James A. Linn, Joseph M. Linn, John D. Lyons, Campbell McCloskey, 
John C. McGhee, Carpenter Miller, William Montgomery, James B. 
Moore, Samuel Mortimer, John Myers, Joseph Myers, Michael Myers, 
George W. Packer, George W. Searle, John A. Smith, Michael G. Stahl, 
Mary E. Swartz (widow of Henry E.), Joseph E. Tibbins, Fleming P. 
Trexler, William Waite, Edward Williams and William J. Wilson. 
Several of these men served more than one enlistment. Not included, of 
course, were our soldiers who did not return. They are named in an 
earlier chapter of this story. Records indicate that the following local 

This house on Main Street was built by John McGhee in 1854. 


men also served in the Union Army, but were not living here in 1890: 
Henry Bollinger, Samuel Bowman, Sylvester Brady, William 
Calderwood, William Crispen, Henry Kirk Graham, Thomas 
Harleman, William Huff, William C. Miller, Andrew Myers, Emanuel 
Nestlerode, James Nestlerode and James A. Quigley. 

It has been mentioned that, in addition to long standing family 
names and bible names, many newborns received the names of local 
doctors, ministers, etc. Daniel Dobbins Gunsallus, born around 1822, 
and generally known as Dobbin, was one of a number of babies named 
for Dr. Daniel Dobbins of Bellefonte. Mr. Gunsallus, the son of Wesley 
and the grandson of Revolutionary War soldier, Richard Gunsallus, 
lived in our township for a period following his marriage to Nancy 
Confer. The Daniel Dobbin name became quite popular among 
Nancy's Confer kin for at least the next one hundred years. It is 
remembered that the late Daniel Dobbin Confer was severely injured 
during the sneaky Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His wife, Betty, 
the daughter of Lloyd and Mary (Uhl) Bechdel, was born here. Another 
doctor to whom many area residents owed their name was Dr. Ira D. 
Canfield, who had begun his very successful career at Jacksonville. 
This doctor later moved his practice to Clinton County, where on 
September 3, 1867, at age 63, he was drowned in the Susquehanna 

At one time it was quite customary to clip and preserve a lock of hair 
from a deceased loved-one. In those days preparation for burial fell 
upon the deceased person's relatives and friends. However, assistance 
was often obtained from the one or more persons in the neighborhood 
familiar with the task. This procedure easily allowed for the clipping of 
a favorite lock. Saved over the years and currently in possession of the 
authors of this story are three such locks. They are sealed in envelopes 
and identified as being from the following: Girard Bitner, son of 
Abraham and Mary (Leathers) Bitner, who died in 1852 at age twenty; 
James Leathers, son of John and Barbara (Bitner) Leathers, who died 
in 1860 at age twenty -three; and Andrew Brady, son of James and Mary 
(Locke) Brady, who died in 1859 at age twenty-two. The ages of these 
three may be an indication that the custom prevailed particularly when 
someone died prematurely. James Leathers was a younger brother of 
John Bitner Leathers, the Mt, Eagle potter, whose crocks have become 
a highly-priced collectors' item. 

In the late 1920's Griffith's 5 and 10 cent store in Lock Haven, an- 
nounced that it was discontinuing business. Sheldon C. "Shed" 
McKean, thereupon, purchased the entire stock of that store. Following 
a quick renovation of the vacant room adjoining his pool hall, and the 
purchase of supplemental merchandise, Mr. McKean opened 


■ &fi& 

McKean's Variety Store which employed two sales girls. The grand 
opening featured background music provided by a phonograph. An out- 
door sign advertised "Notions, Novelties and Necessities" in a price 
range of 5 cents to 25 cents. Today's residents are hard pressed to recall 
just how long this store was continued. 

For a number of years Fairview Street in our town was nicknamed 
"Laudenum" Street. The nickname became so popular that it was as- 
sumed by many younger people to be the real name. This name had 
been applied because a certain widow (name withheld) in that part of 
town was known for her constant use of the laudenum drug. 

On the evening of November 8, 1980 the home of Robert and Yvonne 
( Wohlfert) Boob on Harrison Street was gutted by fire of unknown 
origin. This house is located on the inside of the sharp turn where Har- 
rison Street leads to Water Street. Early maps show that in 1862 this 
was the location of George W. Sterling's residence and tailor shop. Mr. 
Boob is a grandson of Elmer Young, a long-time resident of our 
township, who lived to age ninety-seven. The interior and roof of the 
home of William T. Kessinger on Main Street were very extensively 
damaged by fire on the evening of December 16, 1980. This house, built 
in the 1870's by Jesse S. and Blanche (Owens) Hall, was occupied for 
more than fifty years by the Hall family. 

In December 1980 considerable newspaper publicity was given to 
"Onward Victoria," a current Broadway musical depicting the life of 
Victoria (Claflin) Woodhull, whose family is mentioned in an earlier 
chapter of this story as having lived in Beech Creek. It was stated that 
Victoria was bom in Home, Ohio in 1838. Her birth year is a clear in- 
dication that she was not born here as had been thought by some. Hav- 
ing left here about 1830 her family was likely one of a number of 
families that moved from here to Ohio around that time. William B. 
Collins, the Philadelphia Inquirer's theater critic, not quite satisfied 
with the Broadway production, wrote that Victoria was "A promising 
subject for a musical of walloping impact, which 'Onward Victoria' is 

An automobile repair business, specializing in body work, was 
recently opened by John Gundlach, a son of Jack and Pauline 
(Hawkins) Gundlach. The shop is located just beyond the entrance of 
the mountain road that leads to Renovo. This portion of the road, along 
the side of the mountain, was originally built to serve as a roadbed for 
the dinkey train that hauled clay from Wynn's mine to the local brick 
plant. It had been closed and fenced off for many years with only a path 
for pedestrians. In the 1930' s it was widened and graded by Civilian 
Conservation Corps (CCC) members of the Salt Lick camp beyond 


Many of the early histories of Central Pennsylvania areas mention 
David Lewis, who was a notorious, although a Robin Hood type, rob- 
ber. It is not known if Lewis, who was aided by his partner, Connelly, 
committed any of his acts within our area. However, it is known that he 
was a son of Lewis Lewis, a highly regarded surveyor, who had worked 
here with Charles Lukens as early as 1775. After the death of Lewis 
Lewis his widow, Jane (Dill) Lewis, became the second wife of 
Frederick Leathers, the great, great, great, great grandfather of the 
authors of this story. Following Frederick's death in the Mt. Eagle area 
in 1796, his will (Mifflin County Will Book I, p. 105) was contested by 
his seven children. Jane was accused of tampering. After eluding many 
a posse David Lewis and Connelly were finally captured amidst gunfire 
near Sinnemahoning in late June, 1820. While being transported to 
Bellefonte Connelly, who had been critically wounded, died at Great 
Island (Lock Haven), and was buried there. Lewis, who refused am- 
putation of a badly wounded arm, died of gangrene in the Bellefonte 
jail several weeks later, and was buried at Milesburg. The many stories 
regarding Lewis usually noted that his brothers and sisters were highly 
respected citizens of Centre County. The Lower Paxton Township 
bicentennial book of 1967 lists some of the activities of Lewis in 
Dauphin County, and stresses that he robbed the rich and divided his 
plunder with the poor. Later in 1820 Lewis was posthumously pardoned 
of his crimes by Governor Findlay. 

Late in 1980 J. Filmore Miller, who, with his wife Catherine, lives 
east of town at the crest of Bickel's Hill, received some deserving 
publicity. Mr. Miller, a retiree of the local Armstrong plant and more 

QWho was the first woman to ran 
for president of the United States? 

A Victoria Claflin Woodhull was ~ ; •-;;:„ ,i 
** nominated for the presidency by the 
National Woman's Suffrage Association in 
1872. Her platform supported free love, 
abolition of the death penalty, excess- 
profits taxes, better public housing, birth 
control and easier divorce laws. The first 
woman member of the House of Represen- 
tatives, Jeanette Rankin of Wyoming, was 
elected in 1916, four years before the en- ' 
actment of nationwide women's suffrage. 
In 1932, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas 
became the first woman elected to the j 
Senate, though 10 years earlier a woman, < 
Rebecca Latimer Felto'n of Georgia, had ' 
been appointed a senator. VICTORIA WOODHULL- Free tovw tost 

Victoria's family lived in Beech Creek in the 1820's. 


recently an employee of Spotts store, makes wooden toys for free dis- 
tribution to needy children at Christmas time. Working through the 
Salvation Army "Fil" is always assured that each toy reaches a very ap- 
preciative youngster. 

The authors take this opportunity to thank all those persons who 
provided pictures and material for this book. The efforts of Joseph M. 
DeHaas in this regard were especially gratifying. Tribute is paid to the 
late Mae (McCarthy) Miller for the memories she shared in her latter