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Democratic Watchman October 27 1893, page 8


"The long list of escapes that have been made from the old county jail here was augmented, on Saturday night when Charley Johnson and John Freeman said goodbye to sheriff Ishler and took up their journey for parts unknown.

When the prisoners were locked in their cells, on Saturday evening, by the turn key nothing unusual was noticed in any of the cells, but when the rounds were gone on Sunday morning, No. 14, which had contained two prisoners the night before, was found to empty.  A great pile of mortar and stones on the floor, a hole in the wall about eighteen inches square and a missing rope tells the rest of the story. 

Johnson had been in jail since the preceding Monday and was awaiting trial for the larceny of bed clothing from John Curry, of Logan street while Freeman, his cell mate, had been in since the 13th inst. He was brought here from Philipsburg, charged with having broken in the show window of McCausland's jewelry store, in that place, and taken considerable jewelry therefrom. All indications point to the conclusion that they made their escape unaided by anyone. With two half round iron bars about one foot in length, which they broke of a facing on the second corridor, they dug out the stones in their cell wall immediately to the left and under the window. 

Having first placed a mattress on the floor so that the filling dirt would disturb no one, they worked deftly and quickly.  They began to dig an opening at least three feet in diameter. It was through a rough mortar wall that when they came to the outside wall of cut sand stone all they had to do was draw a stone in that would leave a hole large enough for their bodies to pass through.  With this done they easily dropped to the jail yard without, a height of not more than ten feet, and mounting to the top of a low shed then ascended the jail wall. Once on top it a stick was stuck under the coping and a rope attached to it. The rope had been obtained inside the jail where it was used to support a trapeze bar upon which the prisoners were want to exercise. With it securely fastened the two fugitives quickly slid down into High street and disappeared. Where they have gone to is still mystery as no trace is left by which they can be followed.

It is the opinion of some that the prisoners had been working more than one night at the hole, but as Freeman is an experienced miner it is possible that the opening was made in a very short time. The strangest part of the whole affair seems to be the fact that all the other prisoners profess to have heard no noise whatever, though the cells on either side of No. 14 were occupied that night. .

Johnson is describes as being 5 ft 8 inches in height, of slight stature, weighing about 135 lbs, dressed in dark clothes, slouch hat, of dark complexion, black hair and scrubby black mustache,  with the lower part of both lobes of the nose gone in a way that makes the partition bone between the nostrils, very plainly visible. He is about 35 years old.

Freeman is a man of about forty-five years of age, wore dark clothes and is rather heavily built. His hair is black with a sprinkling of gray in it and is a miner by trade."

Democratic Watchman November 3 1893, page 8


"The shades of evening had scarcely fallen on last Saturday when the sheriff's household at the jail was thrown into a fever of excitement over the escape of two more prisoners, who seem to have disappeared into obscurity as effectually as the two who broke the jail week previous.

After the family of Sheriff Ishler had finished supper, on Saturday evening, they were sitting about the dining room table talking, when footsteps in the kitchen attracted their attention. An immediate investigation was made, but no one being found in that part of the house, which can be entered from the jail yard, the jail was looked into and the discovery made that Sammy Meese and John Watkins were missing. The masons had been in the jail that day filling up the hole in cell No. 14, through which Johnson and Freeman escaped. They had completed their the cell had been scrubbed out and left to dry, but before the mortar had time to set, Meese and Watkins tore it out and escaped. They made a rope of the bed clothing with which they lowered themselves to the jail yard and boldly walked out through the kitchen of the jail.

Meese was serving a sentence of nine months for having assaulted Charles Shearer at the Brockerhoff house on the 15th of last August. He is a short, heavily built young man with a brown mustache and dark hair and is an iron worker trade.  Watkins was sent up, at the August term, for one year for having kept a bawdy house out along Marsh Creek somewhere. He is a man about 6 ft. 2 in. in height, very thin, with eyes deeply sunken in his head, heavy light mustache and about forty years of age."

Democratic Watchman November 3 1893, page 8


"The following article from the Harrisburg Telegraph seems to contradict the idea of many Bellefonters that J. M. Ward learned to throw a curve when he was a student at State College.

"The Chambersburg Repository refers to an article printed in these columns some time age in which the assertion was made that Will F. Hutter, off Harrisburg, now of Titusville, taught John Montgomery Ward how to pitch a curved ball. The editor of the Repository wrote to Mr. Ward to ask him to settle the question, and Mr. Ward replied as follows.

"Neither Frank Hutter nor John Flack taught me the curve. One James Kelly, who caught for  the Lock Haven team in 1876, I believe, taught, me. Yours Truly, John M. Ward."

Nobody ever said that Frank Hutter taught Ward. It was his brother, Will Hutter, and there are members of the High Boys base ball club who remember the famous trip to Lock Haven, in 1874 and 1875 (Gossip has not the data at hand at present) during which Hutter in the hotel yard showed Ward how to hold and throw the ball so as to make it describe a curve in the air. Mr. Hutter learned the trick from the present Senator Wood, of Mifflin, who learned it from Mann, the first curve pitcher at Princeton, where Mr. Wood graduated and captained the team."

Democratic Watchman November 17 1893, page 8


"Within three weeks the citizens of Bellefonte and those of the Nittany valley will see the regular opening of the new Central Railroad of Pennsylvania and the connection of our town with all points in the country by a system of rail-roads separate and distinct from the Pennsylvania company.

The road was begun last May and in the surprisingly short intervention of seven months has been completed, so that to-day only two hundred feet of track remains to be laid ere trains can run over the twenty seven miles of road between this place and Mill Hall, where connections will be made with the Beech Creek and Reading systems. The unfinished portion of the track is that which crosses the bridge at Clintondale, and the approaches thereto. That bridge is well under way and would have been completed now had the stone been ready for the masons. As it is the middle pier is up and the abutments are about finished.

The road has been constructed on an economic, though not a miserly basis, for after the first month's operation it is expected that the passenger schedule over the line wilt make at least thirty miles an hour, with all stops, thus showing that there is an excellent road bed, good iron and proper ballast. All bridges over 80 ft. in length are of iron and some shorter ones too.  Well equipped comfortable stations are under way at Zion, Hublersburg, Nittany, Huston, Lamar, Clintondale and Salona. These will be provided with freight and passenger rooms and instead of telegraph will be connected with the general offices here by a metallic circuit telephone The telephone line is already built and, aside from the instruments, is owned exclusively by the railroad company. The wire that completes the circuit on the telephone will also be used as a telegraph line between the general offices here, in Mill Hall, Jersey Shore and Philadelphia.

So much for the building and equipment of the raod.  Now for the rolling stock and its operation.

It is well known to our readers that J. W. Gephart, has been chosen the General Superintendent and that Frank Warfield is the General Freight Agent of the new road. These gentlemen have opened offices in the Bush Arcade where the general management will be done until the terminal station on Lamb street is built. An interview with the former yesterday morning disclosed the following facts as to the possible running of trains. Mark you it is only the possible running, as nothing definite is known yet.

Two freight trains will handle the freight over the line. One arriving here about noon each day with freight that had been shipped from the Willow street station, in Philadelphia, the eveing previous at four o'clock. The other will get here in the evening, and both will handle all way freight, thus giving the people of Nittany Valley the advantage of a freight service almost equal to the express.

The express will be operated by the American company, as it is on the Beech Creek lines and has already a schedule of rates with the United States Co., for handling points not touched by itself. The fact is that the United States on the Reading system and the American on the New York Central R. R. lines work jointly, the one helping the other. Thus it will be seen that we will have the benefit of competition in express rates to all points. Express offices will be opened at every point along the line at which there is a station. It was thought that Mr. Warfield would close the contract with the American Co. yesterday as he was in New York for that purpose. In such an event the route manager of that company will come on here at once, locate an office and appoint a manager and an assistant, both of whom Mr. Gephart thinks will be local men. The efficiency of the express service will depend solely upon the running of the passenger trains and as the new company proposes that its bid for traffic will catch the traveling public there is every reason that the express will do the same.

There is a possibility that four trains daily will run over the line as far as Mill Hall, and a certainly that there will be enough to make connections at that place with Beech Creek, trains both east and west. The Williamsport Sun published a statement, about which Mr Gephart would not talk, to the effect that two of the Central trains will run clear through to Williamsport. The one, leaving here about six in the morning will connect at Williamsport with a fast train that will arrive in Philadelphia at 8 p.m.; the other leaving here at two o'clock in the afternoon will connect in Williamsport with the celebrated Reading "Cannon Ball" express that arrives in Philadelphia at ten o'clock the same evening. The other two trains will run only as far as Mill Mall. For this service two well equipped passenger train will be needed. Engines from the N. Y. C. shop at Schenectady, N. Y., will -be here in a few days and just to give an idea of how complete the system is with which our new road gives us connection, we will state that they will run all the way from the shops in which they were built to this town without having touched a foot of the Pennsylvania company's tracks. The passenger coaches will leave the shops in Wilmington, Del, on Monday next and arrive here over other tracks than the Penney's and over a route shorter in distance than from here to Philadelphia.

Cars and engines are of the most approved pattern and were purchased with a view to the comfort of travelers, as speedy and safe transit, Everything will be first class and every detail of comfortable railroading will be ob served.  Other than the two trains mentioned above there will be a train arrive in this place shortly after 9 o'clock in the morning with passengers and express that had left Philadelphia the evening previous at 11:30. Then there will be a train leave here in the evening in time to connect at Mill Hall with a through sleeper train to Philadelphia.  This train will be run to make close connections so that there will be no waiting at Mill Hall.  Sleeping car service for persons along this line will begin and end at Mill Hall, as will the parlor and buffet cars also. 

This about covers the operation of the road as it will probably be done, but of course there may be changes which can not be forseen as yet. Our readers have read already the descriptions of the various stations along the line but there is one point that needs special mention at this time and it is the station called Huston, which is located at the junction of the pikes down at the gap that leads through to Brush and Penns valleys. There a large station will be built as it is supposed that most of the traffic from the lower end of the valleys will be handled from that point as it is nearer than Coburn, their present shipping point has the advantage of better wagon roads for hauling and then is only six teen miles from Bellefonte, while Coburn is over thirty.

The railroad terminates at the foot of Lamb street in this place, where all the offices  will be located as soon  as practicable. Masons finished the foundations for the fright depot yesterday and the wood work will be hurried right through. It will stand on a lot about 100 ft south of the street line and on the west side of Water street and will be used as a passenger and freight station combined until spring when the two story brick passenger station will be built on the corner of Water and Lamb streets, directly opposite the electric light plant. When it is completed the offices will all be moved down there and concentrated, then the room which will be alloted to the passenger traffic in the freight station will be used as offices for the freight department."

Democratic Watchman December 22 1893, page 8


"The opening of the new Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, on Monday morning, was characterized by an accident not anticipated by the manager of the road and when a telegram was received at the general office here at 8:30 stating that train No. 1., consisting of a combination and one regular passenger coach, drawn by the handsome now engine, "Nashetane," was over a six foot embankment at Shuler's mill, one mile east of Clintondale, there was general consternation not only among the railroad men but among the people of the town who had looked upon the opening so auspiciously.

The news spread like wild fire and it seemed as if the telegraph instruments had scarcely stopped ticking ere little groups of people could be seen standing about the streets discussing the possible cause and result of the accident. Of course the wildest kind of rumors were afloat at first, but a  second report to the effect that no one was hurt soon set all minds at ease.

The train left this place a little behind schedule time, 7:10, and was carrying forty passengers.  It had reached Clintondale all right and was running on down the line when in the vicinity of Shuler's mill the engine left the track and ran nearly a hundred feet on the ties before it fell over the embankment. Engineer Glimour and his fireman, Will Brown, stuck to their posts and after the engine had turned clear over both crawled out from under the wreck without a scratch. Their escape was miraculous for the cab of the engine in which they were seated was badly shattered.

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