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Democratic Watchman February 10 1893, page 5


"The attention of many of our people has been drawn to the large railroad engines that have been pulling freight trains into this place since the old wooden railroad bridges along the line have been replaced by iron structures. Before the iron bridges were built it was not safe to run the monster locomotives over the B. E. V., but of late all patterns of the gigantic Hoag engines have been steaming up and down the valley with long coal trains trailing after them"

Democratic Watchman March 10 1893, page 8


"In commenting on the death of the late Wm. F. Reynolds, a writer in the Philipsburg Ledger concluded as follows: "It is a little remarkable that none of Bellefontes wealthy men make any bequests to the academy, the institution in which many of them got their education, and which is and ever has been an honor to the town. Let us hope it will not always be so."

Democratic Watchman March 17 1893, page 5


"When conference met in the Methodist church, at the corner of Spring and Howard streets. Wednesday morning, it was with a feeling of pride that the members of the congregation announced to the visiting ministers that for the first time in its history the church was free of debt.

The last penny had been raised Tuesday afternoon and it is to be hoped the church will ever be in such a prosperous condition. The congregation is to be congratulated on having lifted the burden of debt from the church property."

Democratic Watchman March 17 1893, page 8


"As early as Monday the Methodist ministers from all parts of the state commenced arriving to attend the Twenty-first annual session of the Central Pennsylvania conference in this place and by Wednesday, the time set for the formal opening of conference, the hotels and were crowded by the disciples of Wesley. The hundreds of austere faces, broad-cloth suits and silk hats has put a Sunday appearance on the town and a subduing influence is noticeable wherever one turns.  Those who have leisure time are enjoying the daily meetings, for an opportunity of hearing eminent men is afforded. There can be no doubt that this gathering of such a class of men, whose earnestness is beyond reproach, will have a very beneficial effect on the town.

Though the first session was not scheduled to convene until Wednesday morning the committee of arrangements prepared in entertainment for Tuesday evening for the early arrivals. Devotional exercises were conducted in the Methodist church at seven o'clock, by Rev. B O. Comer after which General D. H. Hastings was introduced and delivered his lecture "Anagram of Methodism." It was at once entertaining and instructive. In his graceful style he told the story of the grand church which Wesley founded so that it seemed new to those who have made it a life study.  For over an hour he held the attention of his auditors, all of whom seemed deeply interested in the skillful way our politician handled a, subject so broad and diverse from the thoughts which were supposed to be sole possessors of his great mind.

Promptly at nine o'clock Wednesday morning the first regular session was called to order, and in the absence of Bishop Warren, who was to have presided, Rev. M. K. Foster, Presiding Elder, was chosen President pro-tem.  The opening exercise being conducted by Rev. G. H. Day. After the reading of a scriptural lesson Rev. Foster retired in favor of Dr Hanlin, Presiding Elder of the Altoona district, who was chosen to preside until the arrival of the Bishop. Various devotional exercises occupied the time of conference until ten o'clock when the Bishop arrived and assumed control. Rev. D. S. Monroe, of Altoona, as Secretary called the roll which reflected the fact that there were just two hundred and fifty-two members present, besides the many visitors. The remaining members arrived during the day."

Democratic Watchman March 31 1893, page 8

"Thomas A. Shoemaker has resigned the superintendency of the Bellefonte Central railroad to devote his entire time to the management of the Bellefonte Furnace company's plant at this place. Under Mr. Shoemaker's conservative direction the Central has flourished since its organization and to his untiring efforts the public is largely indebted for the present efficient system of train service strong the line between this place and State College, and to his timely suggestions Bellefonters owe the beautiful resort, Hunter's Park, which has gained such popularity.  The iron business is not a new one for Mr. Shoemaker and he will make as much of a success of it as he has of his railroad ventures."

Democratic Watchman March 31 1893, page 8


"The following excerpt from the Nittany Bulletin, an occasional publication by the Valentine Iron Company, will give our readers a good idea of what has been done at the big iron in operation by the present company. The Bulletin is a neat little publication, teeming with interest to patrons of the company and its first appearance was made on Tuesday evening last, the day the fires were relighted in the furnace.

"To-day we start in on our second blast. Our first blast was begun June 3, 1891 and ended February 12, 1893.  Les than 36 hours were lost for repairs and accidents in the entire run of 620 days. During this time we made 54782 gross tons or 62476 net tons of iron. In making it we have used an average of over 80 per cent of our own Nittany Valley brown hematite ores. For fully six months at a time we have run on these ores exclusively. In mining and preparing the ores on our own territory within 4 miles of the furnace we have a constant force of 300 men employed.  This gives us a steady supply, and enables us to run our furnace on practically the same mixture. The result is a uniformly satisfactory iron, and few complaints. From our last two years experience, we feel warranted in saying that there are few irons in the market .better adapted for the best class of foundry work than "Nittany." Among this class of the trade we find a ready market in Baltimore, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, Reading, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, Troy, Albany, Auburn, and a number of New England points.  Once introduced "Nittany" commands the highest price and gives the best satisfaction.

Our men rarely desert us, and where they have tried to avoid our firm prices, after a short period they invariably return to the fold convinced that in foundry work a reliable brand is worth most money. 

Many foundrymen have still to learn that 25 or 50 cents less per ton for iron will rarely save them over $200 per a single day's bad melt will cost more than this sum in lost castings, and extra machine work.

On February 12th we blew out for relining.  Our former hearth and walls had been in use for three and a half years. By continuous work, day and night, in five weeks time we have taken out the old and put in a new hearth and lining. Some idea of this undertaking may be formed when we state that in three weeks time fully 175,000 fire brick, were built into the furnace.  This and all other repairs are completed and with care and no accidents, we hope this work may last for five years.

When we blew out we supposed we had sufficient iron to tide us over to April 1st. In this we were mistaken.  For the past ten days we have been without a single ton for shipment, and to-day our furnace yard is as clean as though no iron had ever been made on the plant. On several grades of foundry irons we are already stocked with orders for weeks ahead, and in all our departments we feel satisfied we will be crowded for some months to come."

Democratic Watchman April 14 1893, page 8

"The new fire engine, which was recently purchased in Pottsville by the Undine hose company, arrived over the Lewisburg road on Monday evening and was quickly unloaded and hauled to the house of the company, on Logan street, where it was inspected by a large crowd of people. The steamer is a forty-eight hundred pound, Clapp & Jones, horizontal action pumper, made by the American Steam Fire Engine Company. It had been in use for nine years, but is to be so renovated, that its salesmen guarantee it to be in first class condition before a sale is effected. The price to be paid for it is $12,000. On Tuesday afternoon the firemen tested it on the Diamond and its working was altogether satisfactory. When pumping through a 1 1/2 inch nozzle a stream was thrown from the Fountain on to the Court House roof."

Democratic Watchman April 28 1893, page 8


"A loud rumbling noise following by the crash of broken timbers alarmed pedestrians on West High Street yesterday, Thursday, afternoon, and the clouds of dust and smoke that railed up from the rear of Jas. Harris & Co's hard ware store told plainly enough that something extraordinary had happened.

For some time workmen had been at work at the rear of the hardware tearing away the frame house on Water street, adjoining Finkbinder'a photograph gallery and the building being removed it was necessary to do considerable quarrying before a foundation could be had for a ware house which James Harris will build on the lot. The blasts were all quite light up till noon yesterday, little damage if any having been done to surrounding property. Then it became necessary to put in a heavy charge to blow off the side of a knob of rock, which stood in the way of the workmen. A nine-foot hole was drilled and charged and before it was fired old lumber was piled over it so as arrest the flight of small stones.

When the blast was set off the great rocks flew with terrific force against the adjacent photograph gallery. Crashing in its side and carrying the broken timber with them, they ploughed their way clear through the building and fell in the yard of the Van-Treese property next door.

The operating room is a complete wreck. All the photographic, scenery and appliances are buried beneath the debris. Fortunately there was very little fire in the store at the time for as it was knocked over the coals rolled out in the wreck and there might have been a fire to complete the destruction.

Neither Mr. Finkbinder nor his employee were in the building at the time and it is fortunate that they were not, for both would undoubtedly have been killed."

Democratic Watchman April 28 1893, page 8


"At exactly half past seven o'clock on Monday morning Miss Helen Ceaders, the bright little 'daughter of Joseph Ceaders the Allegheny street baker and confectioner, applied the torch which put the great furnace of the Bellefonte Furnace Company in this place, in blast.

Since February 1891 the big iron plant had been standing as silent as if no breath of life had ever pulsed through its flues and the restless throbbing of the pumps which had become such a portentious sound in our industrial world was silent as the grave. The idleness of such an industry meant thousands of dollars of loss to Bellefonte and it was quite natural that its resumption should have been hailed with delight.

At the furnace, in the quarries where the lime stone for the flux is procured, at Graysdale mines and at the Red bank mines the company employs over three hundred men. Such a force makes quite a showing in the business of a town.

The first run of iron was made on Wednesday morning and it is to be hoped that the good work will continue for many years."

Democratic Watchman May 5 1893, page 8


"Council little thought, on Monday night, when it was acting on the ordinance to prohibit cows from running at large on the streets that in its failure to pass the ordinance it was violating the constitution. All kinds of class legislation is strictly prohibited by the constitution and this is exactly what council has been guilty of. Already there is an ordinance prohibiting the male species of the genus bovine from running at large, and how our worthy borough dads could find their way clear to discriminate in favor of the gentler sex without violating constitutional mandates is something we are entirely at a loss to see. Of course the old women bovines might have brought some pressure to bear in their favor, but what it could have been no one but the councilmen know."

Editors Note: For more information of "the Cow Question" refer to the Belle Fonte article Vol. 1 No. 10

Democratic Watchman May 5 1893, page 8


"President Robert Frazier, of the Bellefonte Central railroad, has been in town all week looking after the interests of his line and introducing Mr. F. R. Thomas, who is to succeed Mr. Thomas A. Shoemaker as superintendent. Mr. Thomas is a Philadelphian and has lately been connected with the Reading system. He will take charge on next Wednesday."

Democratic Watchman May 26 1893, page 8

"The team of bay horses, which the Logan Steamer company purchased at Oak Rail, is certainly a beauty.  The horses are tall, raw boned animals and will doubtless answer the wants of the firemen. During the day they are engaged in running a dray for public service. Samuel Geistwhite is their driver and any orders for hauling will be promptly attended to if left at Cunningham's cigar store, in the Brookerhoff house, or at Frank Galbraith's jewelry store, in the Bush House."

Democratic Watchman June 2 1893, page 4


"Walter L. Main's circus which exhibited here on last Saturday was one of the best shows that has ever visited Bellefonte. Everything about the circus was bright and clean. The horses were in excellent condition and the roster of men and women included an orderly and inoffensive lot of people who know their business and did it to the satisfaction of everyone. Bellefonte has seen all the big shows on the road and the general verdict was that Main's easily takes rank with the best. Under the great canvass there were two hours of solid enjoyment. Good music, well-trained animals, clowns who did not bore you and acrobats of every description all combined to please the immense audience present.

The many people who witnessed the show here will be sorry to learn of the awful disaster it met with near Vail, on the Bald Valley railroad, on Tuesday morning."     For more on the train wreck click here

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14 July 2001

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