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Centre Democrat January 2 1890

"The Collins Brothers had opened a rich vein of pipe ore on the farm of Mr. Runkle, within a half-mile of Old Fort.  The Collins will put in a switch to connect with the railroad and ship the ore to their furnaces and Bellefonte.  We understand they have obligated themselves to take out 100 tons of or per day, for which Mr. Runkle is to receive a royalty of 25 cents a ton."

Centre Democrat January 2 1890

"The constant procession of visitors to Bellefonte jail is increasing every week.  Any hour of the day large numbers can be seen going to and coming from that place.  It seems as though the jail, a place built to confine criminals, has been turned into a veritable side show or dime museum since the incarceration of the two murderers.  The sheriff should put a stop to this and only admit persons who have occasion to see the prisoners."

Centre Democrat January 2 1890

"The apparatus for the new Y. M. C. A. gymnasium arrived this week.  Their building is almost completed and will be ready for use in a short time.  The structure is about 35 by 60 feet and has an oval ceiling of about 20 feet in height.  The structure is entirely of wood and will be heated by steam.  The apparatus on hand consists of rowing machines, quarter circle, swinging rings, trapeze, Indian clubs, dumbbells and other items.  From time to time they will add new apparatus and improve the surroundings.  Their start is a very credible one."

Centre Democrat January 2 1890

"Everybody is clamoring for an opera house.  Everybody says one ought to be built at once and no one will build one.  That is what is the matter with Bellefonte.  The entertainments given in the courthouse in this year were largely patronized yet they were rendered to a disadvantage.  There are plenty of men and Bellefonte today who have the ready capital for a paying investment yet no one is willing to place it in an opera house.  There is no doubt that it would yield a good return but they cannot see it in that light.  We want an opera house.  Who will build it?"

Democratic Watchman, January 3, 1890, page 8

" There is a stream of visitors at the county jail to see the convicted murderer Hopkins and Andrews who is charged with a murder even more atrocious than the one for which Hopkins has been condemned to swing.  The latter appears to enjoy the attention he is receiving and finds a ready sale for his photos.  There is something wrong in allowing capital offenders to be made objects of public attention.  Andrews seems to be more affected by his situation than Hopkins, and earnestly protests that he is innocent.  Those who have visited him in his cell find it difficult to be impressed with the idea of his quilt.  His trial will take place in the last week of January."

Centre Democrat January 9 1890

"Everything about the glass works, at this place, has been put in order.  The furnace has been fitted up and will soon be ready for the fires.  The report about town was that they would start on Monday of next week.  Mr. Munson informed us on Tuesday that they would be put in operation inside of a few weeks.  They will start but one furnace which would give employment to about 60 men.  The works will be operated by Mr. Munson who is a thorough business man incapable of making them a success.  The plant has been idle for ten months, and many of the old employes are anxious to go to work again."

Centre Democrat January 9 1890

"Beezer Brothers have purchased a new wagon for use about their meat market.  It is the first one used about here and is convenient for their business."

Centre Democrat January 9 1890

"To skating rink was well patronized last Saturday evening.  The barrel racing was a laughable affair and was one by Harry Spicher in fine style."

Centre Democrat January 9 1890

"Last week at the Democrat made to the predictions that editor James A. Fiedler, of the Gazette, would be the next postmaster for Bellefonte and that his appointment would be made at once.  True to our prediction, with authority from headquarters, we're able to announce that Mr. Fiedler's appointment was practically made last week but will be officially sanctioned and announced about the first of February.  Dr. Dobbins term of the four years expires on the tenth, when the new official will step in and disturb things generally.  Thematic cancellation of postage stamps, we are told, is sufficient to give us a free delivery systems in the future.  The new system will likely be put in operation by the first of April next and everybody will rejoice."

Democratic Watchman January 17 1890, page 8

A Vicious Riot

"A more riotous demonstration than that which occurred last Saturday night has not taken place in Bellefonte since the Republican attack on the Watchman's windows. It grew out of the disorderly conduct of some nailmill hands and resulted in four of them being now in jail awaiting trial at the next term of court. On the evening in question a puddler named Sanders influenced by too much drink, raised a disturbance in the diamond about half past nine o'clock. On account of his boisterous behavior he was arrested by officer Joshua FouIk who started off with him to the lockup.  While he was on the way with his prisoner the comrades of the latter, numbering eight or ten, followed after in a threatening manner, with the intention of rescuing Sanders. They overtook Foulk and his charge on the boardwalk on Water street nearly opposite the dam, and with such expressions as kill the s. of a b., assaulted him. They grabbed him, and not withstanding his resistance, pitched him over the railing with the intention of throwing him into the creek. He fell on a stone, which prevented him from rolling into the water.  The crowd, including the prisoner, then ran, going across to Thomas street and stopping nearly opposite McQuistions's wagon shop.

Upon recovering himself Foulk followed, and when he came up to them they threatened to kill him if he approached, using such expressions as that "he had better make his peace with his God," as they intended to lynch him, and other threatening exclamations. The first man he recognized in the crowd was Thompson the man who had thrown him over the railing. There were citizens standing around at some distance, attracted by the riotous proceedings, and Foulk called upon them for assistance, but they seem to have been deterred by the threats of the rioters. Foulk then seized Thompson, but the latter broke from him and started to run.

The officer called after him to halt or he would shoot. He continued for some distance and then turned as if he was going to make at the officer, whereupon Foulk shot, hitting Thompson in the leg. The wounded man fell to the sidewalk and his comrades closed around to protect him, maintaining their threatening demeanor. By this time officer Gars appeared on the scene and in the melee broke his mace over the head of one of the rioters named Jamison. At this stage of the disorderly proceedings Sheriff Cooke, officer Mullin and Constable Montgomery, who had been notified of the trouble, made their appearance. The Sheriff made a proclamation to the rioters ordering them to desist and submit to the authority of the officers of the law. This demonstration and the presence of so large a force alarmed the disorderly parties who began to scatter. The officers, however, got hold of three of them on the spot and followed the others to the railworks where two more were arrested at their boarding house, one of them while attempting to escape out of a window. They were all taken to the lockup where they were detained for the night. The parties captured and locked up were Samuel Key, Michael Fennehy, James Convoy, John Jamison and Hugh MoGraff. Sanders escaped. Thompson, the wounded man, was taken to the poor house where his injury received medical attention and he will have a hearing as soon as he is in a condition for it. On Sunday morning the prisoners were removed to jail on a warrant and were brought before Esq. Foster on Tuesday morning. Upon hearing the evidence in the case the Justice discharged Key as implicated to be held, and the other four, not being able to give bail, were remanded to jail to be disposed of by the court of quarter sessions. In the proceedings before the Justice Spangler represented the commonwealth and Reeder, the prisoners. The riot was an aggravated breach of the peace, involving a deadly assault upon an officer of the law, and those who engaged in it should be severely punished."

Democratic Watchman January 17 1890, page 8

"Hopkins, who is to hang on the 20th of next month, is a mystery and a puzzle to every one who visits him. A reporter of the Watchman, who had heard that the condemned man had broken down under the pressure of his impending doom, called at the jail the other evening expecting to see in the prisoner a fellow creature plunged in the depths of distress and contrition. On arriving at the grated door of the corridor he saw two persons promenading the stone floor. One of them was smoking a cigar, puffing the smoke with evident satisfaction; a jaunty derby hat was slightly cocked on one side of his head; his shirt collar was peculiarly high and scrupulously white; his neck tie was of the latest style, and his general appearance decidedly dandyish.

Upon entering the corridor the reporter discovered that this gay looking gentleman was the individual who is to have his neck stretched next month, and who notwithstanding such a discouraging prospect was the liveliest and chipperest man in the prison. Hopkins, in the cheeriest manner, invited the reporter to go with him up to his cell. In getting up the iron stairway his partially paralyzed leg interfered with his progress, which caused him to remark in a tone decidedly jocular, that he intended to be more nimble in ascending the steps of the gallows. On the cell wall he had a life-size photograph portrait of himself, in a heavy gilt frame, which he had received that day from Altoona, and he expressed as much delight over it as a boy would over a new pair of skates. He said he intended to send it home as a present to his mother. Looking at the picture with great pleasure, he turned to the sheriff with the joking question whether it couldn't be arranged to hang it instead of him. He said It would suit him a good deal better.

His whole conversation had a levity about it that was shocking to any one who regards the prospect of being hung as something that is not a proper subject for a joke. He asked the Sheriff to show his visitor the shell from which was fired the bullet that "put the old woman's daylights out," and regretted that he hadn't it conveniently at hand to show the reporter the shell with which he had killed his wife. He said it was sticking somewhere around his old clothes. It being the intention of the Sheriff to go to Philipsburg the next day, he requested him to present to his mother-in-law's sister the shell that had done the business, for the old woman. Hopkins employs much of his time in smoking, and he enjoined upon the Sheriff to get him the best ten-cent cigar that can be bought in Bellefonte for him to smoke on the way to the gallows. The demeanor of the condemned man is indeed an anomaly, evincing a mental and moral condition that presents a psychological problem far beyond our ability to solve."

Democratic Watchman January 17 1890, page 8

"The puddlers whose riotous encounter with the police of this place we published some weeks ago, and who were found guilty as indicted at the last term of Court, were before Judge Furst last Saturday for sentence.  Hugh McGrath, James Conroy, John Jamison and Michael Fennecy were each sentenced to pay a fine of one dollar, costs of prosecution, and imprisonment in county jail for three months.  Thompson got six months in the county jail."

Weekly Keystone Gazette, February 28, 1890, page 5


It will be Magnificant Structure. Handsome Chairs and Scenery

"The subject of building an Opera House in Bellefonte has become quite a chestnut, and it was the general opinion that there was not a man in Bellefonte who had backbone enough to venture into the enterprise. Daniel Garman has taken the new project in hand and will soon surprise the citizens of this locality.

The structure will be located at the rear of the Garman House. The main auditorium will be 60 by 80 feet. The stage will be very large, running the entire width of the building and 85 feet wide. There will be fifteen sets of scenery, and all the very finest design.  The height of the interior will be about twenty five feet and the ceiling and walls handsomely frescoed, and every thing within will be gorgeous and pleasing to the eye. A horse shoe gallery will surround the rear part of the auditorium and instead of common benches being placed in it the patronizing public will be accommodated with opera chairs.  The gallery will be made so that persons can enter it from the ground floor, so that in case of fire there will be no trouble in the people escaping and getting out. It will have a seating capacity of from eight hundred to one thousand people. Mr. Garman intends making it one of the finest opera houses in Central Pennsylvania. He will place in the main auditorium opera chairs covered with plush. The dressing room will be under the stage instead of at the side, thus giving them a large stage so that any company can come to Bellefonte and render satisfaction. A large tower will be built over the stage so that the largest scenery in existence can be used in case it becomes necessary.

Mr. Wise, of Philadelphia, an architect and contractor who makes a specialty of building fine churches and opera houses, is expected to be here and superintend the building of the structure. William Garman will manage the opera house when completed, and he will show his good sense by bringing none but the very best shows to Bellefonte."

Democratic Watchman February 28 1890, page 8

"Reporters for republican papers who were present at the hanging of Hopkins in this place last week, stretched the truth considerably in their considerably to furnish Sheriff Cooks, with capacity and nerve, that in no way belongs to him. The facts are, that Sheriff Cooke, alone is to blame for the necessity of a double hanging. He wore out the rope showing his friends how the "old thing worked," prior to the execution as to his display of nerve, when the rope broke, there was simply none to display.  He stood awed and scared, wilted, as one republican reporter told us, on the scaffold, not knowing what to do until Capt. Clark and Drs. Belchor and Harris, had replaced the trap and carried the helpless man back to his place under the noose. When this was done, he gathered together his frightened senses enough to knot the rope, and with the aid of the cool heads of those about him, succeeded in choking his man to death."

Editors Note:  If you can't tell from the tone of this article, Sheriff Cooke was a Republican.

Democratic Watchman, March 7, 1890, page 8

"It is estimated that, with all the preliminary expenses, it will have cost Centre county fully $5,000 to hang Hopkins and Andrews after both jobs shall have been completed."

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