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Democratic Watchman May 27 1904, page 8


"The disposition of the estate of the late Col. E. J. Pruner, of Bellefonte and Tyrone, might result in the maintenance of a home for the friendless children of Centre and Blair counties at this place.

It appears from the papers of the deceased that he left three wills: One executed in 1892, another in 1896 and a third written shortly before his demise, but, left unsigned. While the will of 1896 does not dispose of all of his property, estimated at $200,000, it is probable that it will be entered for probate and the balance of the property divided among the heirs according to the intestate laws of the State. According to the '96 will he bequeaths liberal sums to his sister, Mrs. John Hoffer, his nieces, Mrs. R. G. H Hayes, Mrs. Clara Moyer and the daughters of the late Jacob Shrom.

His Tyrone and Bellefonte, business blocks are to be held intact, the income from both to maintain a home for friend-less children of Blair and Centre counties, which is to be established in the old Pruner homestead on Pine street.

While no definite conclusion has been arrived at by the heirs and the will has not yet been entered for probate this is not positively settled, but if it is decided that the 1896 will is valid the disposition of his property will be made along the above lines."

Democratic Watchman May 27 1904, page 8


"D. B. Newcomer and his son Morris, who have run the Haag hotel on Bishop street in such an orderly and proper manner for several years, have sold their interests in that hostlery to Fred Mosebarger, of Clearfield. The deal was made last week and the transfer will he effected tomorrow morning, when Mr. Mosebarger will assume control of the hotel.

The Newcomers expect to move onto Curtin street, where they still reside until some other business opportunity sufficiently attractive for them presents itself. In this connection we take the opportunity to refer to the extensive improvements that have recently been made in the interior of Mr. Haag's already splendidly equipped property.

Within the pest month Mr. Haag has had the entire house very artistically repainted and papered; giving it a homelike appearance seldom found in hotels. In addition to this he had Mr. Frank Williams inspect and re-wire the entire building for electric lighting so that every room is lighted by electricity now and the danger of fire from imperfect wiring is reduced to a minimum.

Haag's hotel always was popular, but with all these changes and improvements it is destined to become more popular than ever."

Democratic Watchman May 27 1904, page 8


"Between four and five o'clock yesterday morning Eugene Welsh who lived with his wife and three little children on Logan street suddenly lost his reason. Running out of his home he raced through the yard shouting for the police and crying in a most distressing manner. Finally he went back into one of the rooms and, standing in front of a mirror, out his throat with a razor. With the blood streaming from the wounds and the razor still in his hands he went out onto the front porch and sat down. Mrs. Welch's cries attracted the neighbors and police to the scene in time to save the man from bleeding to death.  He was taken to the hospital, where he is in a precarious condition, but the physicians have hopes of his surviving.

Walsh is a sober, industrious man and had been in his usual good health. His wife says she noticed nothing wrong with him when they got up in the morning, and he seemed to be in his usual spirits. On Wednesday he worked all day with his partner Sam Showers on their contract in the Bellefonte Furnace Co. quarries.

While he is ordinarily a very quiet and uncommunicative man Mr. Showers says he remembers now that on Wednesday he seemed particularly so. It is supposed that he was brooding over being thrown out of employment by the possible closing."

Keystone Gazette May 27 1904, page 8

"The Masonic Lodge of Bellefonte is building a large brick vault in the rear of the Masonic Temple on Allegheny street. It will be used by General James A. Beaver who is now located in the building.

Keystone Gazette May 27 1904, page 8

"Al Roberts, the medicine man has cast his fortunes along a new line. He recently purchased from Samuel Diehl complete magic lantern outfit with a large assortment of fine slides, embracing views of historical interest, as well as comical selections to give a varied entertainment for young and old. A number of dates have been arranged in various sections of the county. Mr. Roberts expects to manipulate the slides and have Bert Bayard as spokesman. They have a good combination."

Bellefonte Republican June 9 1904, page 1


Has Closed Down For Repairs - Nittany Furnace to Also Close

"On Friday morning at 8 o'clock the last iron was taken from Bellefonte Furnace on its second blast. This was the closing of a continuous run of the furnace covering a period of three years and eight months. The fires on this blest were lighted by Miss Sarah Harting September 27th 1900 and the furnace has continued to make iron ever since and has averaged an output of somewhere between 2200 tons in the lowest month and 3700 tons in the highest month. The total output during the blast was 130,000 tons. When started the furnace in walls of firebrick were three feet in diameter these are now worn down in the lower part of the furnace, (or bosh,) to 6 to 9 inches. This makes the diameter at this point now about 22 feet instead of 17 feet, the original line of the furnace. The time had arrived when re-lining became absolutely necessary and there was a contingency for a number of months past that the furnace might have to stop at any time for this purpose. The effort; however, on the part of the management was to avoid doing this work in winter and also to postpone it to such time as it might be done when there was a less active demand for pig iron and prices not so remunerative.

Just now furnaces generally are closing down because of the dull condition of the market and the Bellefonte Company are taking advantage of this to make repairs which would have been necessary in almost any event. The record of this blast is the longest continuous one of any Bellefonte furnace it is believed. In order to recover in part the shutdown at Bellefonte Furnace, the Nittany Furnace is now being run on Bellefonte ore mixture, and will complete most of the unfilled orders on the books. Both furnaces, how ever, have been refusing to take orders for several months with the intention of closing down for from two to three months during the dull period this summer so as to avoid competing at the very lowest prices during the summer season, which is the dull period in the iron trade.

The expectation of the management is that Bellefonte Furnace will be down for repairs and market conditions about three months; that the Nittany furnace will continue in blast until about July 10th and will also close down for at least two months. The present expectation however, is that both furnaces will resume under improved market conditions and with an ability to pro-duce iron at a considerably lower cost and so meet the probable market price, sometime between September 1st and October 1st.

The ore banks of both properties are still running and are likely to be in operation until about July 1st. The mines will t hen probably close down for a month or six weeks, but will start in ample time to stock up the furnace.

The above facts are given us officially by the management of both furnaces in order that there should be no misapprehension in giving out a statement to the press. That the policy pursued by our local furnaces is one generally adopted by the furnacemen will be seen when we make the statement that at present in the Central Pennsylvania district the following furnaces are out of blast; One at Everett, one at Riddlesburg, two at Saxton and one at Punxsutawney. It is likely that one or two others are likely to go out soon, and that in our Central Pennsylvania district not over two or three furnaces will be in blast this summer out of at least ten in the district."

Democratic Watchman June 17 1904, page 8

"The new supplemental water pump put in at the Big Spring has been put in operation and has been running about 130,000 gallons per day, which is 30,000 more than the contract called for.  J. H. Lingle installed it."

Democratic Watchman June 17 1904, page 8

"It is probable that within a few weeks there will be a meeting of local horses on the fair grounds for trials of speed. If the plan meets with the encouragement it should the benefit will be for the Bellefonte hospital."

Democratic Watchman June 24 1904, page 4

"Thomas McCafferty and the Penna Telephone Co., had another squabble yesterday morning over cutting wires that run near his house on Railroad street.  He says they attract lightning and swears he will cut them all down."

Democratic Watchman June 24 1904, page 8

"John Dominic Constance, who is in jail charged with having tried to burn the home of David Rothrock, in Benner township, denies the charge and claims that the shoes detective Rightnour found in the shanty, that just fit the tracks through Rothrock's garden are his brother's. Constance has no lawyer and says he has no money to pay one. He says he has not been to the Rothrock house since he was released from a five months term in prison for having attempted to shoot Mr. Rothrock when the letter refused to sanction the Italian's offer of marriage to his daughter Mattie. Miss Mattie Rothrock was in DuBois visiting her brother Eber when the attempt to burn the parental home was made."

Democratic Watchman June 24 1904, page 8

"William Doll, the Bishop street baker, has put in a four horse power gas engine for making ice cream."

Bellefonte Republican June 30 1904, page 8

"The stone work for the foundation of the new Young Men's Christian Association building was commenced Tuesday but owing to the bad weather very little could be accomplished."

Democratic Watchman July 1 1904, page 8

"The Bellefonte Masons expect to establish their annual summer camp along the Bald Eagle, in the vicinity of Howard."

Democratic Watchman July 1 1904, page 8


"The rumors that have been in circulation for several weeks concerning the affairs of the Nittany Iron Co., were all stopped last Friday when it was definitely announced that a change in management had taken place.

At a meeting held in the office of the company in Temple court Friday morning the resignation of Mr. S. Wesley Gephart as president and general manager, was accepted and Noah H. Swayne 2nd, was elected to succeed him in that office.

The change was effected for several reasons principally because Mr. Gepharts health has been such as to make it absolutely necessary for him to get away from some of the many responsibilities that he has assumed since rehabilitating Bellefonte's iron industries.

However these may be the change was altogether amicable and was effected with the best of feeling on all sides. As to its results, it remains for the future to reveal. The new president and general manager, Mr. Swayne, said to a Watchman representative: "The business of the company will he carried on with only a few minor changes and the furnace will run."

In that little sentence is summed up about all that the people of this community care to know, except, perhaps, as to the manner of man who assumes control.

Mr. Swayne was born in Toledo, Ohio, thirty-two years ago. After graduation from Yale he went to the New York law school and later was admitted to practice in the city of New York. At the end of five years he gave up his profession and went South to become vice president of the Alabama and Georgia Iron Co., with offices at Cedartown, Ga.

He remained vice president of the company for two years succeeding to the presidency and general management of the companies, which position he has filled for the past three years.

Aside from the stamp of ability which the positions be holds have marked him with Mr. Swayne is an interesting gentleman because of his very illustrious ancestry. His father, Wager Swayne, was a Major General in the Union army and served as military Governor of Alabama. His grandfather, Noah H. Swayne, was a Justice of the United States Supreme court having been appointed by Lincoln and served for twenty years, when he resigned. On the maternal side even more interest centres about the fact that they are among the nearest living relatives of George Washington. His mother was Ellen Harris, of Louisville, Ky., who was a daughter of Glovinia Engenia Washington, a direct descendant of John Washington, George's brother. At the time of the celebration in '89 the historical society of New York classed the Swaynes among the nearest Washington descendants.

Mr. Swayne is married; his wile having been a Miss Siebeneck, of Pittsburg. He left Bellefonte Monday afternoon for Georgia expecting to be gone a month. Upon his return he will bring Mrs. Swayne with him and they will live in the mansion at the works lately vacated by Mr. F. H. Clemson.

During his absence the Nittany furnace has only been banked. It will not he put out of blast as it is the intention to start again just as soon as he returns and, keep going. In fact, contracts for ores and other materials have been made with the Bellefonte Furnace Co., which makes the operation of the mines of the latter company in the Scotia district almost a certainty."

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22 August 2002

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