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Democratic Watchman, January 9, 1891, page 8

"The stained windows have been put in the new United Brethren Church, on the corner of High and Thomas streets, and they add much to the appearance of that, already, pretty little structure."

Democratic Watchman January 9 1891, page 5


"It is to be regretted that the Young Men's Christian Association of this place has been reduced to such a condition that the managers have determined to close it. Those who contributed towards its establishment and pledged the means for its support have gradually become indifferent until there is now not sufficient means to carry it on.

Under these circumstances the Executive Committee met last week and without a dissenting voice adopted the following resolution:

Whereas, The Board of Directors find it impossible to collect the funds necessary to light and heat the rooms and to pay the salary of the General Secretary; and

"Whereas, it becomes necessary to reduce expenses so as to avoid increasing the indebtedness of the Association, which is already too large; therefore be it

Resolved, That the reading rooms and the gymnasium be closed until such time as the Association shall have funds to carry on this part of the work, and the work of the Association be limited to the regular prayer meeting for young men on Sunday afternoons, which can be carried on by the volunteer work of the Christian young men who are members of the Association."

Democratic Watchman January 9 1891, page 8


"On Saturday night Jan. 10th, the now arc light was turned on for street illumination in Bellefonte.  All day Sup't Kitson and his gang of linemen were busy putting on the finishing touches and the Superintendent's cheery voice sang out, "have patience," to the numberless inquirers who were all anxious to know just when the light would transform our dark streets into handsomely illumined thoroughfares. Just a little while before seven in the evening the dynamo was started and after a sufficient current had been generated the switch was thrown open and the beautiful rays of candescent light were reflected over the snowy hills of our town, transforming, as it were, darkness into daylight.

Little knots of citizens were grouped on the different squares in town, admiring the new light and commenting on the push and energy which secured it for us. The streets were thronged, notwithstanding the rainy night, with people who stopped to gaze into the blue glare and then pass on thanking the light for its friendly assistance. At present there are seventeen lights in the town, which with the Edison lamps still in use, make Bellefonte one of the best lighted places in the country. The dynamo has capacity for three more lamps, but where they will be put is not yet known. High and Allegheny streets certainly present a brilliant appearance after night as they are about the best illumined, though High street needs a light at the depot badly. The old Edison light, which was in use on the crossing, is now turned off and it leaves the railroad and the vicinity of the depot in comparative darkness. The R. R. authorities should secure an arc light for that place and we would advise them to negotiate with the light Co. at once, as the supply is limited and will soon be exhausted. Sup't Kitson deserves the congratulation of every Bellefonte citizen for the perseverance he has manifested in securing the new light for us."

Democratic Watchman, January 23, 1891, page 8

"The Bellefonte Fire Department is somewhat slow in getting into action, but when the streams are once turned on, a fire hasn't any show at all."

Democratic Watchman, January 23, 1891, page 8

"As a relic of his administration Governor Beaver Monday had transferred to his law office in Bellefonte the desk at which he sat in the executive chamber for the last four years.  We believe it is the custom of Governors to take their desks along with them as souvenirs."

Democratic Watchman January 23 1891, page 8


"Last Friday night fire was discovered in the attic of the house on Thomas street occupied by Mr. McPhearson as a boarding house. Upon the alarm being sounded it was difficult for the firemen to locate the fire, but upon its being definitely determined where it was, which took some time on account of the signal not being understood, the hose and hook and ladder companies hurried to the scene. The fire broke out through the roof but was checked and prevented from doing further damage by the efforts of the firemen. The water did about as much damage as the fire. A defective flue was the cause of the trouble."

Democratic Watchman January 23 1891, page 8


"On Friday night January 16th, an attempt to "crack' the safe of Sechler and Co., grocers, in the Bush house block, was made. The thieves entered the store from the rear by boring out one of the lower panels, thus making a nice hole through which the store could be entered without trouble.
Once in they took the bar off and unlocked it, making ready for a quick flight. The large safe of the store sits in the little office just inside the front windows and 'twas there the crackemen went to work, for nothing else was disturbed. A hole was started in the steel door just beside the lock but it was abandoned, we suppose, on account of its hardness to drill. Then the handle was knocked off and a charge put in there. This resulted only in securely setting the lock bolts and slightly springing the stool door covering. Frank White the watchman at the Bush House, heard the shot and went down and tried Sechler's front door. Finding it locked all right he turned away. it is thought, however, that his presence frightened the burglars away, for they left all their tools scattered about the safe. Thu job was evidently done by persons unskilled in burglary, as every evidence seems to indicate, but the audacity of burglars who would attempt to blow a safe in so public a place is very much wondered at. The safe sits within fifteen feet of the plate glass front upon which there is no screen. There were persons sleeping on the first floor of the Bush House immediately above it. Next door a drug clerk was sleeping in the store and a watchman was in the building, while facing the rear door through which they entered room of the night boy in Lamimer's livery stable. The attempt was made between twelve and one o'clock and there were quite a number of people on the streets. Everything used by the robbers but the steel drills was taken from the carriage shop of McQuistion & Co. on Thomas street.  One hundred  dollars would have been the reward had the safe been opened."

Democratic Watchman January 23 1891, page 8

"The new fire alarm signals for this town, adopted by the Fire committee of council, to be given by the steam whistle at the electric light works, are as follows: North ward - one long, one short blow; South ward, two long, one short; west ward, two short, one long."

Democratic Watchman February 6 1891, page 8


"In pace with the industrial developments which this community has been making of late, there come to us business houses which leave off the characteristics of "general" stores and take up specific lines. Among the concerns of this class the Bellefonte Supply House is the latest addition, managed by Wm. F. Hillbish & Co., in which Harry Jenkins, the only son of W. B. Jenkins, senior member of the noted Jenkins & Lingle, engineers and machinists, firm, is the company. Mr. Hillibish is a thorough engineer and machinist and has had a very varied experience in the work he now takes up. Being a practical workman he will have personal supervision of all steam heating, plumbing, etc., contracts taken by the, firm, and his judgment, in matters of plumbing, steam and gas fitting, will be of invaluable service.

The head-quarters of the company is at No. 7 Criders Exchange, where they have fitted up a neat store room and office. Harry Jenkins will do the clerical work and take care of the general trade. In the store can be found steam, gas and water fittings of every description, rubber and leather belting of all kinds, Fairbank's scales, iron and lead pipe, and everything that is found in a first class supply house. We bespeak a goodly share of public patronage for the new firm and assure the people in general that if responsible and practical people give prestige to a new enterprise, then the Bellefonte Supply House should stand in the front rank of Bellefonte industries."

Democratic Watchman February 13 1891, page 8

"The Bellefonte Electric Light Company has increased the capacity of their plant by adding another machine for the production of the necessary electricity.  The new arc lights required the addition."

Democratic Watchman February 13 1891, page 8


"On the 30th of last July, while the little son of Mr. William Musser, together with come playmates, was playing about a fire which they had built over near their home on Reynold's Ave., his mother called to him to put it out lest he might be burned. The little boy not heeding Mrs. Musser sent her pretty, ten year old daughter to extinguish it. Mary went down where the children were playing and attempted to take her brother home, but while she was pulling him away the back of her dress caught fire and in an instant the poor little things clothing was all ablaze, the flames even leaping up to her wavy golden hair."

Democratic Watchman February 13 1891, page 8

"Among the improvements on Curtin street during the coming season will be a new residence by Samuel Schaeffer who now lives near Morris's lime kiln."

Democratic Watchman February 20 1891, page 8

"One more feather has recently been stuck in a Bellefonter's cap.  It is the one worn by Rob't Cole, our architect, over the acceptance of his plans for a beautiful bank building that is to be erected on the corner of Main and Juniata streets, in Tyrone, by the Blair county Banking Co."

Democratic Watchman February 20 1891, page 8

"Governor Beaver and family will sojourn in Philadelphia for a month or six weeks until about the first of April, by which time their residence here will be repaired and ready for their permanent occupancy."

Democratic Watchman February 27 1891, page 8


News that will Interest those who are Interested In Bellefonte

"In the last issue of the WATCHMAN we promised to give our readers something definite about the condition of the two large iron furnaces which are now idle in this place. Ever since their closing down, the one at the hands of the sheriff, the other forced to do so by the exorbitant freight tariffs, conjecture has been running rife as to the prospects of resumption.


"When the large furnace of this company was closed by the sheriff about the 15th of last November, with judgments against it aggregating about $34,000, and when later the Fidelity Insurance, Trust and Safe Deposit Company, of Philadelphia, sued out, the $600,000 mortgage which they issued in 1886, the business aspect of our town met a severe blow, and when we remembered that the indirect cause of the company's difficulty was attributable to an article which appeared in the Philadelphia Times and whose authorship is accredited to one of our own citizens, the failure seemed especially disastrous."

When the property went into the hands of the receivers, who held it in trust for the bondholders, immediate steps were taken to effect a reorganization. The litigation involved in so large a transaction has now been about cleared up and on Friday last there was a meeting of all the bondholders, held in Phila., for the purpose of electing a permanent board of directors. Nothing definite was done, however, further than to appoint the temporary board which has been in session here every day since last Tuesday. The capital stock has been increased to $650,000 and the bond holders of the defunct Centre Iron Company are to receive stock in the new Valentine Iron Company to the extent of the bonds held by them. The permanent board of directors will undoubtedly be Hon. Jas. H. Campbell, of Wayne, O. H. Reighard, of Williamsport, Chas. W. Wlibem, of Reading and Hon. Daniel Rhoades, Rob't Valentine and J. Wesley Gephart, Esq., of this place. This board will outline the future policy of the comp any, and as their powers will be practically absolute it will bring the business into good working shape

Our informant would not say anything definite as to when a resumption could be looked for, but he left us to infer that it is the policy of the company  put the works in operation just as soon as the arrangements are completed and the time will be not far distant.


The closing of the Bellefonte Furnace Company awakened the business people of this town to a realization of the fact that she can not pros per without a cheap means of transporting her products to the eastern markets. Consequently the "new railroad" ball was set rolling, but this time so great has been the momentum given it that it is beginning to assume very substantial aspects.

The leaders of the movement are most sanguine of the result and though not prepared to make definite statements as yet, they have informed us that everything is in a very promising condition. The trend of such gigantic movements is naturally slow; so all we can do is wait a little while and if reports be true we will see our extension of the Beech Creek & Reading system materialize.

There is one thing definite we can say about the proposed extension, and that is, if the road is built it will give us a competing line, for it was thought by some at first, that even should the road go through the desired competition in freight tariffs would not be had as the articles between the P.R.R. and the Vanderbilt system, which were signed last fall, would not permit a cut in freight.

We have positive assurance, however, that this will not be the and if the Buffalo Run and Beech Creek  Roads are connected we will have all the competition we want.

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14 May 2001

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