(The Bedford Gazette, 1905-1906)


Reminiscences of Bedford and Other

Places in the County by


BedfordIn1827 - The Survey - The Name -

The Streets, Lots and Buildings - Citizens

and Their Occupations


In the year 1827, when I was five years of age, my father, Peter Schell, moved from Schellsburg to Bedford into the three-story brick house built by my uncle, John Schell, about 1810, and situated on the northwest corner of Pitt and Richard streets, now Odd Fellows Hall.


I came down with my parents in an old-fashioned gig having two wheels, the body hanging on arched leather springs. These gigs had a secret place in the back part of the body called the sword case where a sword was usually kept as a protection against highway robbers who then frequented the roads. I remember well the day on which I arrived at Bedford; it was a bright and beautiful first of April and a large covered four-horse wagon was being unloaded in front of the house; John Wilson, a 1arge and robust negro known as "Greasy John'' was helping.




In 1750-51 an Indian trader named Ray erected a trading post on the present site of Bedford and for some years it was known as Raystown. In 1758 the advance column of General Forbes' army erected a fort near the same place and named it Fort Raystown. In 1759 General Stanwix changed the name to Fort Bedford.


In 1766 the proprietaries of the province regularly surveyed and laid out a town, due east and west, on the same site, with 200 lots and gave it the name of Bedford. The streets running east and west were Pitt (near the Juniatariver), Penn and John. Those running north and south were East (or Shelburne), Bedford, Richard, Juliana, Thomas and West. Penn, John, Thomas, Richard and Juliana were named after members of the Penn family. Pitt was named in honor of the great English Premier, William Pitt. Penn street was given a width of 80 feet; all the others were given a width of 60 feet, and the alleys 20 feet. A large square in the centre of the town was set apart for the use of the public.


The town was incorporated March 13, 1795, but no organization was effected under the act. Finally the town was organized under the act of February, 1817. Except on Pitt street, the houses were then few and greatly scattered. This street had been located on the Provincial road, known as the Burd road, which was opened in 1755, for the transportation of supplies from Pennsylvania to General Braddock's army at Fort Cumberland. In 1791 the State road from Shippensburg to Pittsburg was also located on it, and this was followed in 1814 by the Chambersburg and Bedford and Bedford and Stoyestown turnpikes, Juliana street being the dividing line between these pikes. Owing to these advantages, Pitt street was entirely built up with the exception of three or four lots. Outside the western town limits there were on this street some eight or nine houses and Samuel Davidson's tannery, now Haderman's property. A short distance below the eastern town limit stood the large Spencer stone tavern, now Andersons'. The houses on the other streets in 1827 with the numbers of the lots were as follows:


PENN STREET—North side: On Lot 52, Bedford Academy, now Dr. Enfield's; on Lot 53, frame house, now Shuck; on Lot 54, frame house, Williams; on Lot 56, log house, Reimund; old Provincial court house on northwest corner of public square, built in 1773-4 and removed in 1846; Lot 8, Presbyterian brick church, built in 1808; Lot 125, log house, Henry, now Hughes'; Lot 134, small frame building now Brengle's; South side: Lot 60, small log house; Lot 57, large log house, Reimund; Lot 9, frame house, Bowen, now Points; Lot 12, log part of Mower house, now Reed; 117-118 large brick house, Riddle, now Corle House; 114, large brick house, Judge Thompson, now Watson's


JOHN STREET: Lots 79-80, Reformed and Lutheran church with graveyard, erected about, 1770; Methodist Episcopal church, one-story brick building, erected about 1826 outside borough limits; no dwelling houses


EAST STREET: A small, one-story brick Catholic church, built in 1817, now standing; a two-story log house stood in the middle of the street, near Pitt until some 40 years ago


BEDFORD STREET: Lot 170, a long one-story frame house near river, now



RICHARD STREET: Lot 127, a double log barn, near the alley, now Fisher's; 119, a long one-story frame house near the alley, now H. D. Tate's; tradition says John Fraser in 1758 built a log tavern on Lot 178 near the river, now Lyon's


JULIANA STREET - East Side: on parts of Lots 1 and 2, the "Rising Sun" hotel - the middle or log part was built in 1750 by General Forbes' army and was called the King's house, now Ridenour block; part of Lot 2, the frame two-story house, now Defibaugh's, and a log house, now Davis and Jordan properties; on 3 and 4, a small blacksmith shop, now Barnett's store; Lot 5, two two-story houses, one log, one frame, and a one-story brick office occupied by Charles McDowell, now Heckerman's building; on 6, a two-story log house, torn down in 1849, now H. S. Tate's heirs - tradition says it was used as a court house and jail from 1771 till 1774; Lot 10, a two-story frame office, Judge Tod, now Hughes' heirs; Lot 11, the large brick house of  J. M. Russell, deceased; Lot 12, a small frame house, Miss Lyon,  now Judge Longenecker's; 13, now J. W. Tate's heirs, a small building; Lot 14, now S. S. Jordan's heirs, a small brick back building; West Side: on Lots 31 and 32, now Brode building and Colfelt's, three one-story frame stores and shops, a log house, now Brode's, and a brick, now Wolff's; 30, now Pennell's; a two-story brick house, Morrison; 29, now J. P. Reed's, brick house and frame office; 27-28, now Waverly, Lutz's and Kerr's estate, large stone hotel and three frame offices, Jacob Bennett; three one-story brick fire-proof offices on northwest corner of public square; the foundation of the present court house was begun in 1827 on the southwest corner of the public square and the building was completed in 1829; 23, now county's, in the rear, a one-story log house; Lot 30, now Dr. F. B. Barclay's heirs, a frame-back building


THOMAS STREET - East side; half way back from Penn street, a small frame house; West side: On Lots 73, 74, 75 and 76, there was a large sink hole on one side of which there was a one-story stone house, built originally for a distillery. Major S. M. Barclay graded the lots and filled the sink hole; a large frame house, now standing, on the rear of 64 and 65 on the alley extending from Thomas to East streets, now Dr. McCullough's estate. There were no buildings on West street.



The assessment list of 1827 shows 180 taxables in the borough. According to the usual ratio of five persons for each taxable, the population was about 900. The names and occupations of some of them were as follows:


Physicians - John Anderson, William Watson, Francis B. Barclay

Attorneys-at-law - George Burd, John A. Blodget, Samuel M. Barclay,           Jonathan Carlisle, John Tod, Alexander Thompson, F. B. Murdock,           David R. Denny, Nathaniel P. Fetterman, William Roberts, Andrew I.         Cline, William F. Boone, James M. Russell, Josiah Espy

Clergymen  - Henry Gerhart, John Osterloh

Officials - President judge, John Tod; prothonotary, Job Mann; sheriff; G. R.

          H. Davies; commissioners, Daniel Shuck, John Bowser and R. H.       Daniels; treasurer, Henry Williams; constable, William Gibson; justices, Thomas Hunt and Jacob Radabaugh

Merchants - Thomas Heyden, John H. Hofius, John Hershberger, Abraham

          Kerns, Peter Schell, Martin Reiley, John H. West, J. K Miller, Martin    Reiley, Jr., William Bowman, William Fletcher, Joseph Hammer,          Nicholas Lyons, Peter Levy

Inn Keepers - John Adams, John Brice, William Clark, William Reynolds,

          John Reiley, John Young, Thomas J. Bennett, George Claar,      Humphrey Dillon, George Graham, Elijah Adams

Tailors - David Bowen, Jacob Bollinger, Richard Charlton, Henry        Hoblitzell, Daniel McFadden

Saddlers - Samuel Claar, Samuel Over, David Reiley, Christopher Reiley

Hatters - William Henry, Samuel Funk, Joseph May

Printers - Charles McDowel1, John Pierson, Graham Hall, Albert Osterloh,

          Thomas Gettys

Carpenters - William Krichbaum, Jacob Fletcher, Henry Scovil, Philip Williams, John Arnold, Henry Arnod, James McKinley, Solomon      Filler, Thomas Rea

Cabinet Makers - John Kean, Adam Miller, Thomas B. Miller, William Stahl, Solomon Reimund, John Rumand, James McMillin, James          Bleyler, William Milburn

Wheelwrights - Daniel Shuck, Abraham Colebaugh, David Cockley

Teachers - David W. Walter, Philip Fishburn

Tanners - Samuel Davidson, Henry Williams, John Echart

Blacksmiths - John Claar, Lawrence Harmon, Jr., Daniel Lybarger, Joseph

          Lybarger, Joseph Claar, John Ocherman, Daniel Sheckler

Coppersmiths - Joseph Wolf, Benjamin Blymyer, William Khorson

Meat Dealers - Elias Echart, Lawrence Harmon, John Hill

Baker - William Mardorff

Stone Mason - Obediah Blair

Shoemakers - Robert Gibson, Robert Johnson, James Williams, Redding B.Connor, William Lowrie

Farmers - Joseph S. Morrison, John Reynolds, George Funk, John Funk

Barber - William T. Chapman

Tobacconist - Daniel Crouse

Ropemaker - Charles Osterloh

Potters - Jacob Baylor, Adam Baylor

Laborers - Michael Nulton, Anthony Stiffler, Jacob Waggoner, George          Berkheimer

Horse Dealer - Daniel Dean

Clock Dealer - James G. Dillon

Whitesmith - Jacob Felford

Weaver - Valentine Rutter


Of the 900 people - men, women and children - who were living in Bedford in 1827 when I came here, only one of them is now living—William Milburn. March 2, 1906, The Bedford Gazette


Bedford: Geological Formation - Juniata

Island -TheHills - Trysting Bridge - Town

Springs - Bedford Mineral Springs


As the mountains are about Jerusalem, so they stand around Bedford and make it "beautiful of situation." On the east Dunnings mountain sweeps down from the northwest with a majestic curve to the beautiful canyon of the Juniata, where - as Evitt's mountain - it bends rapidly but gracefully to the southwest, presenting an unbroken semi-circular wall over 500 feet in height for a distance of 25 miles, both northward and southward. On the west, Wills mountain rises gradually from a broken hill for a distance of two miles to the southwest and then ascends very rapidly to Kinton's knob, and there towers upwards of 1000 feet and, like a sentinel, overlooks the hills, the valleys, and the farms of Bedford county and a considerable portion of Maryland. Between these mountain ramparts nestles the beautiful little Cumberland

valley. Midway in the valley, Central Hill, a massive limestone geological

upheaval, stands over 300 feet in height, which with a trend from northeast

to southwest, traverses the valley from Bedford to Cumberland, and also

extends northward.


The Juniatariver in some early cataclysm rent asunder the very heart of

the hill and left on each side a rock-jutting promontory as silent but eternal

witness of its Titanic force.


The northern bluff is known as Anderson's Hill, so called after its owner, Dr.

John Anderson. The southern is known as Barclay's Hill, so called after its owner, Col. Hugh Barclay.


On account of the conformation of the hills, Bedford sits queen-like, enthroned on the gentle slopes of Barclay's Hill with the azure dome for a crown, the enfolding green hills for a vesture and the blue Juniata for a laver. The town is founded upon a rock. Underneath there are five rocky acute anticlinals, the intervening synclinals being filled with limestone, clay and sand. A stratum of yellow sand runs under the court house and the Barnett building, and a stratum of red sand under the Presbyterian church and a little east of the Bedford House.


The great charm of Bedford is the beautiful and ever-changing scenery, which never grows monotonous. The eye never tires gazing upon the panoramic view of mountains, hills, valleys, farms and floating clouds.



The Juniatariver, at the west end of town near Elm Bank makes a gentle

eastward curve, and at this point a gravel shoal deflects a small stream known as Little creek towards the town palisade along whose base it flowed to Richard street, where it again united with the main stream. The island thus formed extended from West street to a point some 60 feet below the Richard street bridge where there was a famous fishing hole.


The island had an average elevation of eight feet above low water mark, but in high floods it was entirely submerged. According to the town plan, the lots on the north side of Pitt street extended over the island, and were cultivated as gardens. There were summer houses enclosed with lattice work on nearly all of the lots on the palisade overlooking the island and the river. These were crowded with young folks in the evenings.


My father built a foot bridge over Little creek to the island and had an excellent garden. Humphrey Dillon, who kept the Washington House, built a wooden road bridge to the island. He also erected a log stable and a frame bath-house thereon. A short time afterward, an Irishman with his family moved into the bath-house. Regularly, every spring, as long as they occupied it, the high floods created intense excitement among the town people. The water surrounded the house, and every moment the mad torrent threatened to sweep it away with its occupants. During the excitement, the Juliana bank of the river was thronged with spectators who witnessed the danger - with fear and trembling when strong and daring men rescued the family in small boats. Finally the bridge, the log stable and the bath-house disappeared under the corroding touch of storm and flood.


A lane or road led from the north bank of the river up the line of the present

Juliana street to an intersection with the township road beyond the cemetery. Many years ago this was vacated and closed.


Since that time (1827) the erosion which began at the lower end of the

island, according to a fixed law, has nearly swept it away, except a small portion at the upper end from -which the soil has been carried off and replaced with mountain gravel.



This bridge spanned the united streams at Richard street. It was wide, open and uncovered, and therefore admirably adapted as a suitable place for viewing the grand scenery around the town. It was a favorite resort of the citizens at all times. The young people, and especially the academy girls and boys, came in great numbers with gleeful hearts and buoyant spirits. They spent many happy hours in enraptured admiration, gazing upon the fiery glow of the sun climbing over the mountain tops, the flitting shadows of the clouds upon the hillsides, the gorgeously-tinted skies as the sun went over the western hills, the starry heavens and the bewitching moon. Many ardent friendships were formed upon this trysting bridge between merry and happy lads and lassies which, in after years were indissolubly bound with silken cords. But this dear old bridge had to succumb to the progress of the age. It was torn down and rebuilt by the Bedford and Hollidaysburg Turnpike company, and in recent years that bridge was replaced by the county with the present iron structure. I think that every living person who was a friend of that dear old bridge will give a sigh of regret.



Along the north side of the river there was a wide meandering path for more than a mile, both above and below the bridge, carpeted with grass and lined with stately elm, sycamore, hickory, butternut and other trees. The young people spent many pleasant days and evenings promenading over these green and shady banks; and the boys had their fun too, for the freshets had washed out the earth from under the trees, making large holes under their roots. These holes became the blissful homes of eels, catfish, suckers, frogs and muskrats. We thought it great sport to reach into these holes and pull out the fish and frogs. But occasionally we caught water snakes instead of fish and it is needless to say we dropped them without ceremony whatever. But alas! these pleasant paths, these shady banks, these beautiful trees, like the island, have all been carried away by the devouring floods.



In early days this hill was a hiding place for hostile Indians who frequently fired from their lair upon Fort Bedford and the people of the town. In the old

Stiffler and Funk taverns, and perhaps in other houses built on the town palisade, there were many loop-holes through which the occupants returned the Indians' fire.


Tradition says that an old Indian was in the habit of concealing himself behind fallen trees and then imitating the call of a wild turkey gobbler, and when the hunter was attracted by the call to the spot, he was shot by the Indian. In this way several white men were killed. But finally the trick was discovered and a fearless and expert hunter went out very early in the morning and concealed himself near the Indian's hiding place, and when the old Indian made his usual call, he was shot.


The hill was the resort of wild animals, and I remember when two large bears were shot on it within sight of the town. The little ravine lying between the high ledge of rocks and the cemetery was for years the receptacle for all dead animals, but thanks to the vultures, crows and other unclean birds, their carcasses were soon stripped of flesh, and their bones were bleached by the sun. This place has ever since been known as Hoise Heaven. In the course of many years, many tons of bones whitened the ravine, but about 30 years

ago when bones were worth $60 per ton for fertilizer, Samuel Bucher, a hustler in his own way, gathered up all these bones and hauled them to Hollidaysburg where he sold them at remunerative prices.


My father graded and made a path over this hill beginning near the present weigh-scales and crossing the hill near the depression in Hafer's pear orchard to his farm now owned by Mr. Sammel. This path is still in existence. When a boy, I traveled over it a great many times. These beautiful hills, Barclay's and Anderson's, once covered with large and stately trees, have been so denuded that they may now, with great propriety, be called "bald hills."



From the great number of springs, medicinal, limestone, mountain and soft, which issue in great volume from the hills and mountains about Bedford, it may safely be inferred that there exists a strong hydrostatic pressure which forces the outflow of these waters. Three of these springs are within the town limits. Two of these were set apart for public use by the Penns. The soft water spring on Barclay's Hill is a very valuable one. It was utilized about 1814 when the town authorities built a reservoir near the spring and laid pine-log pipes from it to some six public hydrants placed in the central part of the town, as follows: On Penn street in front of the old jail and in front of the Riddle (now Corle) house; on Juliana street in front of J. P. Reed's office; on Pitt street near the alley of the Hofius lot, now Mrs. McCullough's; at the corner of Juliana and Pitt streets, near Hartley's bank, where there was a large watering trough into which the water flowed day and night. Here the horses, cattle and dogs of the town resorted to quench their thirst. The boys patronized the hydrant quite as much as the dogs. (It would be a good thing for some public-spirited citizen to place a fountain in the public square for men and beasts). There was also one in front of the David Espy house, now Mowery's, opposite the Bedford House.


The other spring granted to the town was a very large limestone spring which issued from the foot of Barclay's Hill, on Thomas street near the Little creek. It was enclosed with a wooden box some twelve feet square and four feet high. The water gushed up from under the rocks in sufficient volume to turn a mill; it was pure crystal, sparkling and cold, and was a favorite resort of the whole town, especially in hot weather. With proper mechanical devices, the water would have supplied the town abundantly; but like all the good and perfect gifts given us from above, we misuse, debase and destroy them. This grand spring has been so polluted that it can no longer be used by man or beast. It is now only a sewer discharge, with a stable standing on its very edge. To moralize - I believe the people in 1827 drank more pure water and less bad whiskey than the people now drink.


There is also another similar large limestone spring at the western end of town but it is very little used, as in high water it is overflowed.


The reason why the town erected only six hydrants was probably because that number supplied the central part of it, while it was very expensive to sink wells on account of the great depth of the water. (The late James M. Russell sank a well 100 feet in depth on his lot near the public square and failed to get water.) The people who resided in the less elevated parts of the town generally had pumps. I remember at least 10 wells and pumps near Pitt and Richard.



This lane ran from the junction of John and Bedford streets in a southwest line across the present extension of Richard and Juliana and thence over the central hill to Shoyer's valley, a few miles south of Bedford. Some years ago that part of Green Lane as far as Juliana street was vacated and the other part was removed further west.



That part of the present Penn street from the old red mill, now Prosser's, to

East street was called Race Lane on account of its frequent use for horse racing. Some five or six sporting men in Bedford kept fast and blooded race horses. Their principal occupation was horse racing. They were always on the lookout for horse drovers, who then in great numbers passed through Bedford on the way to eastern markets, and challenged them to run their fast horses for a purse, and when no stranger came along, these jockeys ran races with their own horses. When a horse race was on hand, many of the men and boys of the town turned out to witness it. There was always a great deal of betting, and as a consequence these races were very demoralizing. The better portion of the citizens were opposed to them, and often times an officer of the law, in accordance with his duty, went on the ground for the purpose of seizing the race horses; but invariably, riders, doubtless under instructions, as soon as they got a glimpse of the officer, dashed down the turnpike with

their steeds as rapidly as possible. It was most amusing and disgusting to see

the crowd, on the appearance of the officer, getting over the fence into the

corn fields for concealment. It was only after the death of several of these jockeys that the racing ceased, but the name "Race Lane" remains to this day. The above-mentioned officer was my father, Peter Schell, then an associate judge of the county. When I look back and consider the obloquy and denunciation heaped upon him by these sporting men and their cronies, I can only admire his moral courage in the conscientious discharge of his public duty in fearlessly stopping these races.



The land on which these springs flow was taken up by Josiah Shoenfelt, on

Shover's run in 1767. He conveyed the name to Frederick Naugle in 1772. I am of the opinion from the records that the stone mill was built by Frederick Naugle about 1797, for in 1798 the tract of land was sold by Sheriff Bonnett to Robert Spencer, presumably for the debt in erecting the mill. A few months thereafter, Spencer sold the same to Dr. John Anderson. In 1804 Nicholas Shaufiler discovered the mineral springs. Dr. Anderson then made some improvements. He erected a bath-house and one or more boarding houses. In 1816 he sold the two mineral springs on the east bank of

Shover's run and the sulphur spring in the mill dam, together with the bath-house, the walks and certain adjacent land to the managers of the Bedford Mineral Spring company, reserving the boarding house and all lands not granted. The managers were Dr. John Anderson, Johnathan Walker, William Watson, Josiah M. Espy and Samuel Riddle. This company made considerable improvements, and the several subsequent companies made still greater and more costly ones. Mr. Samuel Bancroft has so greatly and extensively improved the buildings and grounds that today there is no more superb, comfortable and delightful watering place in the United States. They have been patronized by presidents of the United States, governors of many states, United States senators and congressmen innumerable, cabinet officers, generals of the army, admirals and commodores of the navy. In

fact the public men of many states, in all callings, with the most beautiful and accomplished ladies of the country, have met here time and time again; and today as never before do they pay their annual visits. March 9, 1906, The Bedford Gazette


The Boys and Their Amusements - Swimming, Nutting,

Fishing, Skating - The Circus and the Menagerie


As I have given a full description of Bedford for the information of grown people, I now deem it proper to add a few words for the entertainment of the boys. Some wise man who thought he knew all things has said that the children's stories and plays we now have had their origin many centuries ago in far eastern lands.


Be this as it may, I propose to tell how the boys, three-quarters of a century ago, enjoyed themselves in innocent amusements.



Was there ever a boy who did not have his favorite "swimmin' hole"? (In boyish nomenclature.) So the boys of Bedforddesported in four different

swimming holes:

1. May's hole, opposite the residence of the late Daniel Washabaugh. It had a depth of about five feet and was one-half the width of the river. Sometimes the boys would undress on the town side of the river, and for so doing, oftentimes our clothes were taken and held until we promised not to unstrip there again. But I rather think this promise was made only to be broken.

2. A very shallow hole, near a big flat rock, opposite the present railroad water station. This was the resort of the very small boys, who were fond of wading in the water and chasing the small fish.

3. Naugle's hole was a considerable distance above the town and near the bank of the Naugle farm, now Dr. Statler's. Because this was the largest and deepest swimming hole, it was more frequented than the other three, and especially by the larger boys. The only objection I had to it was the abundance of blood-sucking leeches which fastened to our legs.

4. Morrison's dam, on Shover's creek, now the Arandale property. This was a delightful swimming place in very hot weather on account of its being all cold spring water. It had considerable width and depth. It was a famous place for catching eels, catfish and snapping turtles.


Upon the whole, I am of the opinion that no boys ever enjoyed the pleasure and luxury of a bath and a swim more than we did.



Boys everywhere have been fond of gathering nuts, and as the country around Bedford abounded with all kinds, the boys awaited with impatience the ripening time. The low lands along the streams were thick with shell-bark hickory nut and butternut trees and hazelnut bushes.


The favorite place for getting these nuts was in "hickory bottom" on the banks of Dunning's creek, a few miles from town. For walnuts and chestnuts it was necessary to go to the highlands. In nutting time the boys went in groups with their sacks and baskets and always returned home heavy laden. In times of heavy frosts the nuts fell to the ground, but oftentimes we were obliged to climb the trees, especially the chestnut trees, and shake them or cut off the limbs.


Oftentimes it was a chase between the boys and the squirrels as to who would get the nuts. In looking back over the long years I now think the squirrels had the best right to them. But like all mundane things, nearly all these trees have been swallowed up by the commercialism of the nineteenth century. Notwithstanding the hickory trees are no more, "hickory bottom" remains the favorite driving route for visitors to the Springs - on account of the grand scenery of the mountains.



Before the erection of dams on the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, shad, mullets and Susquehanna salmon were frequently caught in the Juniata near Bedford. I remember seeing two men, Messrs. Mower and Krichbaum, coming up Pitt street from the river carrying a pole some 12 feet in length, on their shoulders, strung with large shad and mullets which they had caught near town. Then many farms along the main Juniatariver yielded a larger revenue to the owners from the fisheries than was derived from the soil. Pike, fall-fish, suckers, catfish, eels and many smaller fish were also plentiful.


The methods of fishing then, with a single exception, were the same as now used, to wit: the rod and line, dip, set and stir nets, seines, and outlines. There were then no sectional rods with reels nor artificial flies as bait. Earth worms, white worms, and minnows were alone used in fishing with rod and line.


Spearing or gigging are no longer used, and I am glad of it, for it was a most cruel method. I only went gigging once, and that was enough for me.


Several persons would go out at night with lighted pine torches, which were carried by one or more of them; the others would each have a spear or gig, which was a sharp, three-pronged iron spear, to which a long handle was attached. The fishermen would then wade into the river or in the haunts of the fish, and whenever they saw a large fish, the spear was driven with great force into the head, and this could be done with unerring aim, as the fish were either asleep or dazed by the torch.


In addition to these large fish, there were a great many small ones which, doubtless, were provided by our beneficent Father for the amusement of  the small boys.



Skating was a fond amusement for the young folks, but almost exclusively

for the boys, for very rarely did any adult person or girls engage in the delightful exercise, as is now the custom for all, old and young, male and



Then the ice was very thick and strong, and it remained much longer than now for the reason the winters then were winters in fact with no half-summer weather to melt the ice and snow in mid-winter.


The old-fashioned skates then in use were strapped over the feet and were very uncomfortable, retarded the circulation of the blood and caused many frozen feet.


The east side of Richard street from Nicholas Lyon's stable retained its natural slope to the river, and was in fact the road to cross over it. In freshets the water came up to this stable and in winter this road was very icy. Many times I put on my skates in the kitchen and skated down this road to the river, and then up and down for miles, and on my return I skated into the kitchen again.



It was a common thing for the boys to open a small store. Several would join together and get a few oranges, apples, candies, some writing paper, pins, needles, thread, etc., and then with this stock of goods, open a store in the yard or on the porch of one of the partners.


I remember very well how four boys opened a store on the back upper porch of the Bedford House, then kept by William Reynolds, the stock of merchandise consisting - of the above enumerated articles, and perhaps a few other things. The firm only lasted three days when it collapsed - everything was sold on credit and the buyers refused to pay up. This was bad

enough, but on the third day, young Essick wanted to buy a straw hat for 25 cents, and as straw hats were not in stock, a hustling member of the firm went out and purchased one for 31 cents and then sold it to young Essick for 25 cents. This financial operation broke the firm, and then each member of the firm made a grab for what remained of the stock, which was not much, and then made for the street. How the creditors of the firm came out, I do not know, but I rather think they got nothing. This method of playing merchant by the boys has since been often repeated, on a much larger scale, by merchant princes, and with the same results.



Whenever one of these shows entered the town, the boys immediately became wild with enthusiasm to have like exhibitions.


One group of boys were taken with the circus performance. They made a rough springing-board and for days practiced, turning somersaults, standing on their heads, jumping, flying in the air, and all kinds of contortions of their bodies. In some way they secured a pony and attempted to ride standing up, backward, side ways, lying flat on their backs and to do many other dangerous and foolish equestrian performances. After practicing these maneuvers for sometime, they came to the conclusion that they were so proficient that it would pay them to buy a few webs of unbleached muslin and make a tent in which they could exhibit their wonderful performances in Hollidaysburg.


But their fond parents, on hearing of this gigantic scheme, rather rudely disbanded the circus.


Another group of boys concluded it would be better fun to have a menagerie.

So the stone house of young Essick, near the sink hole already mentioned, was fixed upon as the place for their vast congregation of wild animals - and I rather think that the reason for this was that young Essick had a porcupine and a 'possum.


On the day and at the time fixed, each partner in the grand animal exhibition was to bring his contribution, securely nailed up in a wooden or wire cage and mounted on a small wagon. Well, the boys came, on time in great numbers, each with his animal or bird. There were gray, red, ground and flying squirrels, rabbits, racoons, 'possums, a porcupine, a fox and a muskrat, with pups and kittens; turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants, partridges, robins, swallows, bluebirds, owls, etc. When all the animals and birds had arrived, then a procession was formed with the little wagons and the showmen marched and counter-marched over the streets and alleys near the place of exhibition.


This was repeated from day to day until the boys got tired of the show and then it was given up. Of course, all the boys of the town attended this show and the affair gave great pleasure and amusement to the young people.



The boys also engaged in nearly all the games and amusements which are common at this day, but townball was their favorite game, and that was really the germ of baseball.


As I have described the fondness of boys for their innocent games and amusements, I now desire to say a few words in regard to the moral side of their natures and lives. I have always been fond of children and young people, and to this fact I attribute my serenity of temper and ripe old age, for lovers of children never grow morose, and when a person does become morose, he is ready to die, for he is of no earthly use to anybody. All through the bible, when God blessed a city, he invariably promised "that children should once more play in her streets.'' No sight is more enjoyable to me than a company of boys romping and playing. And as for the girls, when I see a bevy of them with their multi-colored habits and hats, I am reminded of the beauteous rainbow, that covenant of peace to mankind, and the remark of a good and sensible man that "little girls are always pretty, but the older they grow, the prettier they become."


All children are imaginative and imitative and they have inbred faith, affection, and a sense of right and wrong. But they are very susceptible to the influences of their environment, and oftentimes to what they may imagine, see and hear. Therefore, it is very important that during the formative period of their characters, they should receive constant and faithful parental care and judicial pastoral guidance in regard to their duties and obligations. In looking over the past 75 years of my life, I feel perfectly safe in saying that in those early days, both pastors and parents bestowed more care and attention on children than is given them in the present generation.


The result of this nurture was manifested in the lives of the children; they had implicit faith in their parents and an ardent love for them.  They had great veneration for their Heavenly Father and adorable reverence for the church, and great respect for the aged. They far surpassed the present generation of children in obedience, behavior, and truthfulness; they were seldom guilty of profanity, drinking, smoking or gambling. How different is the picture of child's life today! I often see boys of six years of age and upward smoking cigars and cigarettes, of 14 years of age and upward reeling on the streets in a drunken condition. What are the parents doing to ascertain where their boys procure the cigarettes and whiskey, in violation of the law? Simply nothing. They are utterly indifferent as to the fate of their children.


Now I want to say a word to parents right here. Children are a heritage of the Lord. It is your duty to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and so long as they are under your roof, there is no power in heaven or on earth that can or will release yon from your obligation to care for them. If their mental faculties are impaired, and their bodies destroyed, and their souls lost through your indifference and neglect, before God, at the judgment day you will be held strictly accountable for your conduct.


If I had a minor boy who smoked cigarettes or got drunk, I would never rest until I had the miserable creature who sold or gave it to him safely behind the prison grates.


What I have said in regard to the neglect of parents, of the present age, for their children is not a mere assertion, but is a living, a shameful fact. It is not difficult to ascertain the cause of this neglect. Just consider for a moment the condition of home life in the higher circles of society and among their senseless and idiotic imitators in the lower spheres of life. Isaiah well describes them - "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." These high society people, and their imitators in small towns are in a constant whirlwind of alluring and pleasurable excitement. This excitement rouses their lusts and passions and then there is no thought of duty to children. And many of the men in high society life become gangrened with vice and immorality, honeycombed with dishonest commercialism and wholly saturated with selfishness. Is it any wonder that these people neglect their children? No. Their home life is atrophied, their church life is cold and frigid, and their actions are gradually undermining the morals of the people and sapping the very foundations of good government. No wonder their children have no respect for law, or order, or parents, or the aged. The Bedford Gazette, March 16, 1906


The Village Fencemaker, Pumpmaker, Shoemaker and Tailoress - Clothing, Carpets, Candles and Lamps, Fireplaces, Stoves, Queensware, Carriages, Apple Butter Boiling, Corn Huskings, Game, The Ague



In the early settlement of this country, farmers made very crooked fences which were very properly called ''worm fences," but owing to the increasing value of timber and the great extent of ground these fences occupied, sensible and economical farmers began to introduce post-and-rail fences. Old Mr. Bowser was the fencemaker in Bedford and the surrounding country. He went from farm to farm and remained as long as his services were required. These fences were made of locust posts and chestnut rails, on account of their durable qualities. The posts were about five feet in height and the rails 12 feet in length. Mr. Bowser always brought his tools, consisting of a broad axe, an adz, a large chisel and a large auger. Thus equipped, he made some five or six holes in each post, and after trimming the rails at each end so as to fit in these holes, he made a very strong and durable fence. In many instances these fences were whitewashed, which added greatly to the appearance of the yard or farm.



Before the introduction of waterworks, the town and country people who had no springs were entirely dependent on wells for their supply of good water. Ordinarily water could be obtained by sinking a well to a depth of 30 feet, but oftentimes it was necessary to go to a depth of 100 feet.


After a well had been dug to a proper depth it was necessary to case it with stones to prevent the earth's falling into it. When a sufficient quantity of water was secured, there were two methods of lifting it to the surface. One was with a windless, a bucket and a chain, hence the charming verses,

"The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,

The moss covered bucket that hung in the well."


This method, doubtless, was a primitive way, as mentioned in the bible, but it was very tedious and dangerous. Oftentimes the drawer has fallen headlong into the well.


The other and most generally adopted plan was to use the common suction pump, which acts by exhausting the incumbent air in a tube or pipe, in consequence of which the water rises in the pump by means of the pressure of the air on the surrounding water. Old William Krichbaum was the village pumpmaker. After measuring the depth of the well, a sufficient number of pine logs to reach the bottom were hauled to it. These logs were about 12 feet in length and one foot in diameter.


The pumpmaker then came with his tools and trestles and commenced work. He stripped the bark from the logs as he placed one at a time on the trestles, then with a large auger bored a hole longitudinally through each log about four inches in diameter. The ends of the logs were then hewn down so as to fit tightly in these holes and the ends were strengthened with iron bands. The logs or pipes were then led down into the well with the aid of a windless and chain, so that the end of one pipe fitted into the end of another one. An iron rod with a sucker was then placed in the pipes or stock, and a substantial floor was made over the mouth of the well, and a spout was fixed in the stock about three feet from the floor, and a pump handle about three feet above it. When the handle was worked, the water was raised to the spout and flowed out with great force. As there were a great many pumps in use, the pumpmaker was kept quite busy.


In later times the small Erie pump and the water works have nearly absorbed the business, and with the death of Mr. Krichbaum, the work in Bedford entirely ceased.



Old Caleb Horton was the village shoemaker of Bedford. According to the custom then prevailing, he came once a year and sometimes twice with his shoemaker's bench and kit of tools, including a leather apron, awls, hammers, lasts, wooden pegs and wax threads, to some house according to arrangement. He located in the kitchen and remained from one to two weeks until he had made two pairs of shoes for each member of the family. Thus he went from house to house until all his customers were supplied with shoes for the year. The leather was supplied by the house-holder. His arrival at the house was considered a great event by the children, as his first work was to take the measurement of their feet. I remember well when he was at my father's house. Nearly all the time the children were around his bench, and as he hammered and pegged away at the shoes, he talked and amused them.



In like manner, once or twice a year came the village tailoress who, like the shoemaker, went from house to house, oftentimes remaining a month at one place, or until she had made sufficient dresses and underwear for the girls and pants, vests and roundabouts for the boys, to last for a year. I remember very well Rachel Rose, the village tailoress, who spent many weeks at our house. She was treated as a member of the family. She was gentle and kind, and the children were all very much attached to her and were always sorry when she left to go to some other house, and were always very glad when she returned. She lived to a ripe old age and lies buried in Cumberland Valley. Peace to her ashes.



Very few persons wore underclothing or overcoats or overshoes or comforts about the neck. In this way they became so accustomed to cold weather that they were able to endure an extreme degree of freezing weather. The clothing then worn by men and women during the winter were generally woolen home-spun goods. The women made themselves comfortable with flannel underclothing and dresses. The wool was clipped from the backs of their own sheep, spun with their own spinning wheels and woven in their own looms. It may truthfully be said of many of these women, "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands."


During the summer the men wore flaxen goods and the women calico frocks. Silk was reserved for the four hundred.



There were few houses that had any woven carpets - some had none - and the few that were in use were homemade rag carpets. About 1830 a German

weaver by the name of Beaver settled near Schellsburg. He wove beautiful all-wool, ingrain, figured carpets and as late as 1860 my mother and Mrs. Dr. Barclay had parlor carpets in good condition, woven by Mr. Beaver.



These were used almost exclusively for light. The candles were made by each housewife by dipping a cotton wick of the proper length and thickness into hot tallow. Sometimes in a small way they were made in moulds. In order to prevent the candle from becoming too dim, it was necessary to snuff off the burned wick very often. These snuffers were like a pair of scissors, having clips at the points ends. Next followed the spermaceti candles. They made a bright light and required no snuffing of the wick. After the discovery of coal oil, the candles in general use were a product of that oil. Before these last mentioned candles were made, lamps came into general use in which lard was sometimes used, and then sperm oil. But now, where there are no gas nor electric lights, coal oil is used everywhere very extensively.



Cooking stoves are a product of the last 69 years. Prior to that time, cooking was done before a large, open wood fire. Every kitchen had a large stone or brick chimney with a large open fire place and a wide brick hearth. Iron or brass andirons were used in these fire places to raise up the wood and permit a draft below. It was the custom to place a large back log on these andirons when making the fire. Mr. Abraham Kerns, of Bedford, improved on this plan by having a cast-iron back log made so as to retain the heat. For the same reason, genius thought of making the other wood of iron.


In the chimney there was a long swinging iron crane suspended between the end walls, and from this crane hung several iron clamps or hooks of different lengths onto which the several cooking utensils could be attached.


The cooking implements included several large cast-iron pots, skillets, pans, etc., with lids, Dutch ovens and brick bake-ovens.


A large wood fire was kept burning in the fire-place during cooking hours. For boiling purposes the pots and kettles were hung on the clamps over the fire. For baking purposes the biscuits or other things were placed in a large

iron pot with iron lid. Hot coals were drawn out on the hearth and the pot put on the coals and then hot coals were also placed on the lid. In a short time, the contents were nicely baked. For roasting turkeys, beef, etc., they were suspended on a rod or spit running through a large tin Dutch oven, open in front, which was set before the wood fire. These roasts required frequent basting with gravy to prevent scorching.


For baking bread, cakes and pies, a brick bake-oven generally built in the yard was used. It had a chimney and a brick hearth. The oven was heated with dry wood fire and then the live coals were drawn out at the iron door

and the hearth was swabbed with a wet mop. Then the articles to be baked were placed in the oven on a wooden shovel, and after one hour they were taken out. Baking was then done only once or twice a week. In my judgment no bread, cakes or pies have been as wholesome and palatable as those they baked.



The dark blue Liverpool chinaware was generally used. A young married couple going to housekeeping could buy a sufficient quantity of this ware for ten dollars. In after years when the white chinaware displaced the blue, some people were very shy about buying it because, as they said, "It showed the dirt too plainly."



There were then only two kinds of wood stoves in use. A Franklin stove, invented by Benjamin Franklin, was of cast iron, with an open front, and with feet, so that it could be placed either in the fire place or out in the room a little distance from the chimney. It had a large, wide circular hearth which the housewives had rubbed every morning with a brick or rotten stone so as to keep it very bright and burnished. Large and ornamental brass andirons were placed within the stove to hold up the wood.


There were many sorts and sizes of cast iron stoves, commonly called "tenplate stoves." These were set on an iron frame with feet. These stoves were enclosed but had a front door in which to feed them with wood and side doors. These stoves were sometimes used for light cooking and probably that use of them suggested the cooking stove which followed in a few years.



There were very few carriages then in use. The old fashioned one-horse gigs with two wheels were about the only vehicles with springs that were in general use. Wagons without springs were used to a very great extent for all purposes. The farmers came to town with their families in two-horse wagons without any springs. But riding on horse-back was then more frequent. In fact, it was the only comfortable and easy method of traveling. Visitors came to Bedford Springs in that way, both men and women. My mother told me that soon after they were open, she came there on horse-back with a party

of Somerset county folks, and my grandmother rode all the way from

Philadelphia to Schellsburg in 1799 on horse-back with her babe in her arms. I remember that in 1838 I went to Sulphur Springs with a party of men several times, and we usually met upwards of 100 men there, and every one of them came riding on a horse.



In the fall when apples were ripe and cider was expressed, in nearly every farmer's household there was an apple butter boiling, to which many of the young people of the neighborhood were invited. This affair generally came off at night, and it was an all night festival. In the early hours of the night the boys and girls helped to pare the apples and stir the boiling cider. Afterwards they engaged in innocent games and dancing and in punishing a good supper. I have enjoyed these assemblies, and I know that we had genuine fun. In fact, these apple butter boilings are still carried on but only in a commercial way - for the sake of the dollars.



When Indian corn was matured and ready for husking, there was generally a husking match on some October evening, either in the barn or in the field. The young girls and boys were invited to be present and assist in husking the

corn. There was some small prize for the person who husked the largest quantity. It was a custom that every young man who was fortunate enough to get a red ear of corn was entitled to kiss one of the girls. After the husking was over, the huskers were given a good supper and then joined in the mazy dance. This custom is still prevalent in some places.



Before the settlement of the "far west" the regular and favorite route for wild pigeons in their flight from the rice fields of South Carolina to the north was over the region immediately east of the Allegheny mountain, and particularly Bedford county. Every spring many large flocks numbering thousands flew over Bedford and in the fall returning southward, they tarried long in the buckwheat fields. They flew so low that many of them were shot from the roofs of houses and from the tops of the surrounding hills.


I remember when on Anderson's hill a flock of pigeons flew so low over my head that instead of shooting at them I struck at them with my gun - and missed the entire flock. But of late years the pigeons have taken Horace Greely's advice to young men and gone west. I have heard hunters say that they found rice in the craws of pigeons when shot in the spring.


In early days the river was covered with wild ducks from Chesapeake

Bay, but they too have failed to appear in recent years.


Panthers, wolves, bears and deer often came down from the mountains.

Foxes, raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels were abundant. So were all kinds of wild birds. Hunters were also numerous; they used rifles and were very expert marksmen. I remember seeing a stuffed panther in Schellsburg in the thirties, ten feet in length from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, which was shot by Peter Mangus on the Allegheny mountains west of Schellsburg.



About 1833 or 33 the Juniata river was very low, and chills and fever were prevalent along its tanks, and especially at Bedford. I remember that then, when I was about ten years of age and my brother Abraham was about eight, we were both taken with the chills and fever. On certain days the chills and fever came as regularly as clock work, when we were between a fire and a freeze. I got tired of this thing and I thought that by a fixed determination on my part I could keep them off. I declared I would no longer shake, but mortal as I was, I did shake and that with animation, in those shaking days, up to the day the disease was broken. Dr. William Watson, a physician and a portly man of nearly 300 pounds, attended us and he gave very unpleasant medicine to take. So I determined I would stop this ugly medicine business.

When I saw him coming into the room, I closed my eyes and thought he could not see me and I was safe. But foolish delusion - he came right to my bedside and gave me a dose more nauseous than any I had previously taken.

March 23, 1906, The Bedford Gazette


Education: Old School System - New System - Bedford

Academy - Bedford Classical and Military Academy


It is the pride of Pennsylvania that the people have always manifested great interest in the education of the children, and especially poor children, free of charge. The state constitution adopted in 1790, only seven years after the acknowledgment of our independence as a nation, contained this clause:

"The legislature shall, as conveniently may be, provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the state, in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis." Owing to the sparseness of the population, and their inability to bear heavy taxation, and the necessity of the state government to aid in the building of state roads, the construction of turnpikes and granting aid to county academies, charitable and benevolent institutions, it was found impossible to carry out the above mandatory clause of the constitution for many years.



But during the inability of the state to aid in this great work, the people, according to their means, built schoolhouses and employed teachers to instruct their children. These schoolhouses were generally built of logs, very small, without regard to ventilation or comfort of  the children, and with no pretense of architectural style. But they were the best that the means of the people permitted. As the houses of the settlers were very widely scattered, the schoolhouses, from necessity, were often remote from the houses and the children were compelled to walk great distances in the winter season, through snow, slush and mud.


Outside of the towns, the school masters, as they were called, were mostly itinerants. They traveled through the country districts until they succeeded in securing a school. The tuition was fixed at a certain sum for each scholar per month, and was paid by the parents. Some of these teachers were very fine scholars, and for that reason they were given the preference in the towns. While others were indifferent scholars and some of them intemperate - those of course had great difficulty in obtaining schools. Only the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic were taught - but occasionally a duly qualified teacher taught some of the higher branches.


But in the last analysis of the case, the people did the best in all things that they were able to do, and no more could be reasonably expected of them. In writing this article the following incident arose in my mind: Many years ago I drove thirty-five miles, in March through Walkercounty, Alabama, and in that entire distance I saw only three houses that had glass windows. All the other houses were small log houses, without glass and instead thereof, pieces of burlap for windows. Presently I came to a log church with log seats with places for doors and windows sawed out but having neither door nor window sash. I remarked to the gentleman who was with me, "Your people do not take proper care of the House of God." He sorrowfully replied, "Our people are very poor, and they take the same care of the church that they are able to take of their houses, and no more ought to be expected of them.'' My prayer was that God would help them not only to repair the church, but also their homes. Now, this was about the condition of our early settlers in regard to their schoolhouses.


To return to the subject. My recollection of a country school in the years gone by is this: The school master sat upon a high stool on an elevated platform, in appearances the very embodiment of all knowledge and all wisdom, overlooking the whole school. He usually held a long rod in one hand as an intimidation to unruly boys, and very frequently he used it on their backs with considerable animation.


He was absolutely without any discriminating faculty, or perhaps he thought all boys deserved to be whipped, for when several boys in a class were noisy, he usually punished the whole class. And when he punished the wrong boy, who protested his innocence, the teacher with a suave smile would reply, "It is all right, for after while you will deserve a whipping."

From my observation and experience, I am of the opinion that those old-fashioned teachers did not like boys and took great pleasure in practicing athletics on their innocent backs. But boys will learn some things, if not their lessons, so when a castigation was expected, their slates were very adroitly slipped up their backs to make them armor proof - and I never knew a slate to be broken in one of these frays.


In recitation, a class would march up before the master of the birch and often times show how much they didn't know. Bad boys were sometimes kept in school after it was dismissed, and at other times were made to stand on one leg for a given time or perhaps wear a fool's cap. But after all when the smarting of the birch ceased, the boys loved their old teacher.


The girls - well, I quite forgot them - I guess the teacher's tender heart would not permit him to punish them. I will now bid good-by to the old fossilized school system.



In 1834 the legislature enacted a law providing for an entire new school system, leaving it optional with the respective school districts in the commonwealth to adopt it if they saw proper. Nearly all the townships in Bedfordcounty adopted the system within a few years. However, there were a few townships that refused to do so. But by the act of April 11, 1848, the common school system was taken, and declared to be adopted by every school system in the commonwealth.


Only one township in the county remained refractory after the adoption above mentioned, and it only yielded to the court in 1866.


At this date, the whole school system is in fine working order throughout the

county under the wise, capable and efficient management of County Superintendent J. Anson Wright.


The constitution of 1873 required the legislature to appropriate at least $1,000,000 each year for the support of the schools. An extract from the annual report of the superintendent of public instruction for the year 1905 shows, "that there are 2,561 school districts in the state outside of Philadelphia, 31,318 schools. The number of township high schools is 197. There are 8,027 men teachers and 24,324 women teachers.


"The average monthly salary of men is $51.31; of the women, $39.14. The number of pupils outside of Philadelphia is 1,209,908. The total amount paid in teachers' wages was $14,142,470.84; for textbooks, $703,771.03; for all other school supplies $700,777.83. The appropriation for free tuition of pupils in State Normal schools last year as met by state, county and city was $28,563,457.15.


"The scale of wages for women teachers shows an average increase of $3.40 per month; for men $2.79 per month. Figures for Philadelphia are not included in the foregoing statement."



I must now turn my educational horologue backward seventeen years. This celebrated institution attracted pupils from many parts of the state and from other states. It was in operation prior to 1810, when the legislature granted it a charter and made an appropriation of $2,000, one-half thereof to be applied to the erection of the buildings and for the purchase of apparatus, and the other half to be held as a permanent fund, the income to be devoted to the education of poor children. The building was erected on lot 49, Penn street, probably in 1810, with the aid of subscriptions by the citizens of Bedford.  As not a single teacher or student of the academy is now living, it is impossible to procure full or definite information. The principals and professors as far ascertainable were as follows, to wit:


Rev. Dr. James R. Wilson, a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian church, was principal probably from 1808 until about 1815. He was a man of great intellect and scholarly attainments. In 1815 Alexander Thompson took charge of the academy. He was first taxed as a single freeman in Bedford on December 10, 1816.


I have a number of receipts given by him to parents for tuition. And in his application for admission to the Bedford bar on October 28, 1816, it is recited that he was late professor of the English language in the academy.


The committee reported, "that he was well grounded in the principals of the law and acquainted with the practice thereof." Therefore he was admitted and sworn as a member of the bar October 29, 1816. Subsequently he was elected a member of the legislature and to congress, in which he served from 1823 to 1827. In September of that year he was appointed president judge of the district, and soon thereafter he removed to Chambersburg, his native place. (Frank Thompson, president of the Pennsylvania railroad, was his son.) Unless Mr. Thompson continued in charge of the academy until June, 1810, when Rev. Jeremiah Chamberlain took charge of it, I am unable to say who filled the interval. Mr. Chamberlain was president of the academy for three years and a half when on December 12, 1822, he resigned to take charge of another institution in Kentucky. It is said of him that he was a man of more than ordinary intellectual powers. His mind was comprehensive and quiet in its grasp of subject while his judgment generally showed mature thought and profound wisdom. It is said that Professor Omrod succeeded him, but I have no record to that effect.


Rev. Alexander Kinmont was the last classical teacher of the academy. I regret that I cannot find more about him than the tradition that he was a highly accomplished teacher.


It is sad to relate that this excellent institution with such able and well qualified professors, after having educated such a fine lot of distinguished

professional and business men, should suddenly go out of existence. I can not determine whether the institution was not self-supporting, or whether it was improperly managed. But in any event a judgment was obtained against the property in No. 104, April term 1821, for $85.99, and it was sold on a Vend. Ex. No. 83, January term, 1822, for the sum of $38 ($46 having been previously paid). On December 24, 1833, the property was purchased by Samuel Brown for $125 (D. B. R., page 40.)


Some time afterwards Mr. Brown purchased the adjoining lot Number 50 from D. F. B. Barclay for $125.


The indifference and want of public spirit manifested by the citizens of Bedford in permitting this valuable educational institution to be sold for the paltry debt of $33, is, to me, incomprehensible. As I was not born for a month after the sale, I will not assume any part of the humiliation and shame incident to the transaction.


I was unable to ascertain how long after the sale the academy was kept in operation. It is known, however, after its purchase by Mr. Brown in 1833, he

opened a grammar school in the building.


So far as it can be ascertained, the following named persons were students in the academy, to wit: Josiah E. Barclay, Francis B. Barclay, Samuel M. Barclay, Alexander L. Russell, B. Franklin Mann, John Mower, Alexander

King, Espy L. Anderson, George W. Anderson, William H. Watson, John Watson, William Yeager, James Henry, William Van Lear, Robert J. Walker, Dr. — Scott,  — Davidson, William Moore, and John Morrison. Nearly all these men arose to eminence in the profession of the law or medicine while the others became good business men.


Jonathan Walker, at the expiration of his commission as judge, removed to Pittsburg about 1818 and his son, Robert J. Walker, located in Mississippi where he arose to the head of the state bar. He represented his adopted state in the United States senate with great ability. He was appointed secretary of the treasury by President Polk, and in the discharge of the arduous and important duties of that office, he won the reputation of being one of the ablest financiers in the United States. Some time after his retirement from this position, I met him at the Continental hotel, Philadelphia, and knowing that when a boy he had lived in Bedford, I ventured to introduce myself.

I told him my name and that I lived in Bedford. He received me very cordially and asked me many questions about the Andersons, Watsons,

Barclays, Russells, my father, and many others. He detained me over one hour.


After I came to Bedford in 1827, I remember that I attended four schools before 1832. David Walter and Philip Fishburn were teachers that year, and it is probable I went to one or both of them. But I remember very distinctly that I went to school to Henry Williams and Samuel Brown. These four teachers were very likely the persons who taught the four schools which I attended. One school was in the little brick school house on the corner of

Pitt and Thomas streets, owned by the borough and now occupied as a residence by Mr. Stoner. Another was a little brick building back of the present front building of Mrs. S. S. Jordan on Juliana street. It was taught by

Henry Williams. He had a very large school and a great many large scholars, and to this day I cannot understand how he managed to live in the house and use the only large room for the school. He was an excellent teacher. Another school was the little frame school house back of the residence of the late James M. Russell. And the fourth school was in the academy building and was taught by Mr. Brown. I am now sorely perplexed for the reason that I attended four different schools in so many years, when I was only between

five and nine years of age. One time I think I was so bright that I was graded up. One time I think I was so dull that I was degraded down. Then again I think I was so mischievous that none of the teachers could manage me. But as ignorance is bliss, I will pursue the problem no further.



In 1833 Rev. Baynard R. Hall established the above named academy in Bedford, which after a year was in a very flourishing condition, having upwards of 100 boys and many girls, a number of whom were from different parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio, and a few from New Orleans and Canada.


The girls only attended the classical department. The boys were required to wear a uniform of blue pants, vests, and round abouts, with flat brass buttons, and caps to match. Mr. Hall employed Solomon Reimond to make a sufficient number of wooden muskets of the regulation size and color, the barrel to be bored, with iron ram rod, imitation iron locks, bands, etc.


These guns were made to resemble the army musket in every particular.

Selby Harney, of Missouri, a relative of General Harney, was the teacher of the manual drill exercise. The cadets were required to turn out every morning at six o'clock summer and winter, rain or snow, and march for one hour. Mr. Harney was a very good, religious and lovable man. His sudden death in 1836 was greatly lamented by the scholars. His remains now lie in the Presbyterian graveyard.


Professor Addis, an Englishman, and James King and John P. Compher, advanced students, were tutors. They were afterwards eminent physicians. On one occasion Gen. Lewis Cass, secretary of war, reviewed the cadets at Bedford Springs. He complimented us on our efficiency.


The academy was first opened in the basement of the Presbyterian church and after that in the Riddle house, now Corle, and lastly it was opened in the upper part of the old Provincial court house. The large court room on the second floor was used for school purposes, and the grand jury rooms on the third floor were used for our debating and literary room.


Mr. Hall had a Greek inscription painted in very large letters over the upper front of the portico. And when the court house was torn down in 1846, this portico with its inscription was set up at the entrance of the frame school house in the rear of the late J. H. Russell's, already mentioned, and there it remained until the building was removed. In 1838 Mr. Hall removed to New York and the academy was closed.


I will now give the names of the students who did not live in Bedford so far as I remember them. Several of the old stage proprietors, Jacob Peters, Colonel James Reeside and ZibaDurkee, of Philadelphia; Noah Mendell, of Ligonier; Hugh Dennison, of Juniata Crossings; and John Statler, of Somerset county, sent their children, to wit: Jacob Peters, Jr., who married Miss Anna Piper, of Bedford; John E. Reeside, who married Miss Nancy Dennison, of Juniata Crossings; James Reeside, George Durkee, Charles Durkee, Miss Mendell and Caroline Statler; William Hartley, of Mt. Dallas;

Gen. William R. Smith, Thomas McElwee and Widow Scott.


The other students from a distance were: Prof. John T. Duffield, D. D., of Princeton University (we roomed together in Bedford); Dr. S. E. Duffield, McConnelsburg; Charles Campbell, Campbellstown; Jonathan Kelly and William Jamison, Burnt Cabins; E. Ramsey, Tuscarora Valley; John Cessna, Rainsburg; Andrew J. Ogle and sister, and Ross Forward and sister, Somerset; Samuel H. Tate and sister, Bloody Run; Alexander Kinney, Martinsburg; William VanLear and Joseph Mann, of Maryland; Christian Garber, Alexander Porterfield and  ------ Cox, of Virginia; and Lyman Potter, of Ohio; Samuel Clendening, of Cumberland county, Pa.



The sons and daughters of the following residents of Bedford who were of the proper age, also attended the academy: Dr. William Watson, James M. Russell, Mr. F. B. Barclay, David Mann, John Piper, William Piper, John H. West, John King, John Reynolds, William Reynolds, Peter Schell, Abraham Kerns, Joseph S. Morrison, John H. Hofins, George Mullin, Humphrey Dillon, John Young, David Patterson, Daniel Washabaugh, Charles McDowell, John G. Martin, Henry Leader, Elijah Adams, Samuel Vondersmith, Lawrence Harman and Robert Gibson. Of all the girls and boys who attended this academy, so far as I know, only four are now living, to wit: Col. John E. Reeside, of Baltimore; my sister, Ellen, of Madison, Ind.; my brother, Abraham, of Schellsburg, and myself.



About 1843 the young men of Bedford embracing young lawyers and doctors and law and medical students, with a number of young business men, organized a lyceum or debating society. We met every Saturday evening in the grand jury room (first floor) of the court house. There was always a good attendance of ladies and gentlemen. At every meeting was an original oration, a declamation, a composition and a debate on some important subject with three debaters on each side. After the debate was closed, remarks were in order. These meetings were of great benefit to the members and were edifying to the spectators.


No doubt some of us thought that we were an embryonic Demosthenes or a

Cicero or a Webster or a Clay. But with age and wisdom we found out that orators, like poets, were born, not made. It would be a great advantage to the many young people in Bedford to organize a similar lyceum.



In 1827 there were only two newspapers published in Bedfordcounty. The Bedford Gazette was founded by Charles McDowell, September 21, 1805.

It was a four column folio with printed matter 10 x 10 inches. In September,

1832, The Gazette was purchased by George W. Bowman who had learned the printing business with Gen. Duff Green in Washington, D. C. From that date to the present time, the voice of the Gazette has rung out in thunderous tones the advocacy of Democratic principles.


The True American was founded by Thomas E. Gettys on July 13, 1813. It

was about the same size as the Bedford Gazette. After an existence of some fifteen years, it ceased. On October 12, 1827, Thomas R. Gettys issued the first number of the Democratic Inquirer. In the course of four or five years the paper was purchased by Senary Leader. Subsequently the name of the paper was changed to the Bedford Inquirer which it still retains.

March 30, 1906, The Bedford Gazette


The Old Militia System - Imprisonment for Debt -

Property Relations of Husband and Wife -

Currency - Postage System - Apprentices



Under the old militia law of 1822, all able-bodied men in the commonwealth

between the ages of 18 and 45 were enrolled, and required to do military duty two days in every year. After their enrollment, they were divided into companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions. The officers were elected at fixed periods. Under the above mentioned act Bedford, Somerset and Cambria counties constituted the twelfth division and Bedfordcounty the first brigade.


The law fixed two days for the militia to assemble and parade. The first muster day was in May when all the enrolled militia were required to attend at designated places, under a fine of one dollar. The next and great parade day was in June when the several brigades met at their appointed places.


The Bedford county brigade assembled on the commons, then bounded by John, Bedford and East streets and the alley south of Pitt street which, with lots and streets, contained about eight acres. This was review day, when the companies, battalions and regiments were commanded by regimental officers who were decked in gaudy uniforms with chapeaus and feathers, and mounted on splendidly caparisoned horses. On this day all the enrolled militia were inspected by a brigade inspector. I remember seeing Acting Brigade Inspectors Samuel Davidson and Daniel Washabaugh making their inspections many times. On both parade days the enrolled militia came generally armed with canes, broom sticks, corn stalks, bean poles, etc., with a few old flint-lock muskets, oftentimes having a rooster or a coon tied to the tops of the poles.


On the first day the militia were formed into company lines as well as the officers knew how. The roll was called, and the gallant militia were dismissed for that day. The last mentioned day was kept as a general holiday by the public. Men, women and children assembled in great crowds in the parade ground. The shopkeepers in Bedford erected a number of tents or booths on the ground along Bedford street and the lot on which the Presbyterian manse now stands, where they sold cakes, pies, sandwiches, fruit, nuts with other eatables with small beer and cider.


When the brigade was duly formed in line, they marched with drum and fife over the parade ground. The arms of the militia were then carefully inspected by the brigade inspector in gay uniform riding on horse back. Then there was a recess. In the afternoon the drum was beaten, the companies were formed, the rolls were called, after which the entire brigade marched through the streets of Bedford and were then dismissed. On both parade days, on dismissal the militia made a rush for the eatables. In some places, burlesque parades were made in which the militia and their officers were represented in grossly ridiculous characters. Finally, the whole system became so farcical that the people demanded its repeal. Consequently, it was repealed by the act of April 8, 1842.



But under the original act, provision was made for the formation and regulation of volunteer companies, properly uniformed and equipped with guns, etc. So far as these uniformed volunteer companies and their officers, majors, colonels, generals, and brigade inspectors were concerned, they were all right, and it must have been a matter of mortification to them to parade at the same places and on the same days with the motley crowd of ununiformed militia.


Major Washabaugh told me this laughable story on himself: On one occasion in making his inspection he rode a beautiful black horse, and he remained over night at the Half Way House between Bedford and Hollidaysburg. In the morning, when his black horse was brought out, he had the brilliancy of a black diamond. He asked the hostler the cause of this brilliancy. He replied that he had greased the horse all over with bacon skins. The major had no time to wait until the grease was washed off, but before he

had ridden many miles the horse changed to a dirty gray color.


The following military companies were in existence in 1833, to wit: The

Bedford Blues - captain, T. B. McElwee; the Bedford Fencibles -captain,William Fletcher; the Schellsburg Guards - Captain Rock; the Lafayette Guards, of McConnellsburg. These four companies, together with the Washington Guards, Captain Walker, of Fannettsburg, Franklincounty, were in attendance at the encampment in Bedford on the 17 and 19 of October 1832. The camp was under the command of General Dunn, of Franklin county, and Col. James Burns and Maj. Samuel M. Barclay, of Bedford county. When the president issued his proclamation against the nullification proceedings of South Carolina, the Bedford Blues, Captain McElwee, offered their services in January, 1833, to the president. The

Friend's Cove Guards, captain, George Speaker, paraded in Rainsburg on February 23, 1833.


On September 27, 1833, a meeting was held in Bedford to organize the Washington Artillery in place of the Bedford Fencibles whose term was about to expire.


On April 17, 1849, an act was passed to revise the militia system and provide for the training of such only as shall be uniformed and properly armed with guns. This act repealed all former laws and supplements on the subject of the militia. Subsequent legislation provided for the establishing of

the present National Guards.


During the existence of the old militia system, military titles were as abundant as Vallombrosa leaves. I have known of several instances in

which the candidates for the offices of colonel, major, and captain were ignominiously defeated, but during their whole after lives they were called

respectively, colonel, major or captain.


In 1847 the Independent Grays commanded by Samuel M. Taylor, captain, was organized, and on May 22 of that year they took up the march to Mexico. Captain Taylor died in the city of Mexico, and his remains were brought home and they now lie in the Presbyterian cemetery under the shadow of a beautiful monumental shaft erected by his relatives and friends to commemorate his gallant services in the Mexican war as an officer and soldier.



Up to July 12, 1842, a debtor was liable to be arrested and imprisoned for any debt which he owed, and the only way he could get out of jail was to pay the debt if he had the means; if not, he could only he discharged under the insolvent laws of the state, after three months of imprisonment, by surrendering all the property he owned to his creditors. But while he was in prison his creditors were liable to pay the charges of his confinement. However, by the act above mentioned, imprisonment for debt was wholly abolished except in a few specified cases not founded on contract. Thus the advancement of civilization and Christianity with the stroke of a pen, wiped out forever this relic of barbarism.



Under the old marital laws, the very moment a woman married, all her property, real and personal, became vested in her husband - she could own nothing in her own right. But at the same time, in case the wife was indebted at the time of her marriage, her husband became liable for all her debts. Now, however, under the benign influences of the same causes which operated in favor of debtors, as above mentioned, married women have been granted relief. They can now own and dispose of their own property at will, and it is no longer the property of her husband; and, on the other hand, the husband is no longer liable for his wife's debts contracted before marriage.



While the United States government alone has power to coin money, yet, in early times, the great volume of gold and silver coins in circulation was of foreign coinage. The old Spanish and Mexican silver dollars, large, rough and uneven, were in general circulation, and their subsidiary silver coins were very abundant, as 6 1/4 cent pieces, called a fip: 13 1/2 cents, called a levy; and 25 cents, called a quarter. Then there were the French 5-franc pieces and the English shillings and pence. All bank notes were issued by state banks except those issued by the United States bank under its national charter. Invariably in every panic or financial disturbance many of these state banks either suspended or failed, and for this reason they were called "wildcat banks" and many of them deserved this name as many of them were usually located in the wildest, most remote and inaccessible places in some western state, so that when the notes were put in circulation, as far as possible distant from the banks, they could not be returned home for weeks and months; and in very many cases when the notes did reach these banks for redemption, they were closed and the officers had fled with the assets, intending to start new banks elsewhere with new names and new officers.

During these panics many small notes of the value of 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 cents and $1 were issued by merchants, bankers, turnpike companies and business men generally, and they were called "shinplasters." So the establishment of the national banking system resulted from the old rotten state banking system during the civil war, and during that war they also issued small notes as a business necessity, but they were never called "shinplasters."



In early days there were neither envelopes nor postage stamps in use. All letters were folded up and sealed with wafers or sealing wax and were deposited in the post office without stamps or prepayment of postage - that was paid by the receiver of the letter. The amount of postage was not a uniform rate for all letters, but the amount charged was regulated by the distance, to wit: 6 1/4, 12 1/2, 18 3/4, 25, and 37 1/2 cents. As there were no railroads then, and all mail matter was carried in coaches, wagons and on horse back, the delivery of the mails was very slow and uncertain. Both the wafers and the sealing wax were of many colors.


With the wonderful reduction of postage charges, letters are now carried to any part of the United States and to a few foreign countries for two cents an ounce.



It was the custom for families, under the act of September 29, 1770, to take

and have bound to them by indenture children who could not be properly

cared for at their homes, to serve as apprentices in some art, occupation or

labor. This law allowed parents, guardians, and the poor authorities to

bind or apprentice such children to proper persons, the boys until they

were twenty-one years of age, and the girls until they were eighteen years of

age. As the case might be an apprentice was to be taught the calling or trade, specifically mentioned in the agreement, was to be treated well, clothed, fed, sent to school for a given number of months each year, and after the end of the apprenticeship, to receive proper clothing and a fixed sum of money, and perhaps such other things as may have been provided in the agreement. The apprentice was liable to arrest and imprisonment for running off and to serve double the lost time. The apprentice was also to behave and conduct him or herself in a becoming manner. Many poor boys and girls without homes or parents were well cared for by kind and Christian people. But in case they fell into the hands of harsh, unkind and unfeeling people, their condition was hard indeed.


I beg to be excused for giving this page of family history, as I do so merely for the purpose of showing how the system worked. My mother nearly always had one girl and sometimes two, and one boy to raise. They all became greatly attached to the family, and the family to them. When the girls were married, they were given a nice wedding and, with one exception, they married well and raised respectable families. One girl, at the age of 17, and most beautiful she was, Elizabeth Dull, ran off and married an attache to a circus then in Bedford. A few years later, the great circus equestrian, the famous Stickney, returned with his wife, and I saw her ride four horses abreast. He was part owner of the great circus, and they were the star performers. We were all greatly grieved when Elizabeth ran away, for we were all very fond of her. Another girl, coal black, EvelineSheckler, was the most kind, patient, and faithful being I ever knew. When my sister Rebecca, about her age, got married and removed to Wisconsin, they were so much attached to each other that Eveline went with her and lived with her until she died. Her brother James, of Jim as we called him, was of a different type. He was utterly unmanageable, so my father sent him down to Maryland to a friend for a few months, hoping that the change would make him better. But when he came back, his imagination, if nothing else, was greatly developed. He told me many wonderful stories of his adventures near Baltimore. I will only mention one as a specimen, and my readers can imagine the others. He

said one day he went in swimming and a great shark, which had nothing to eat for so long that its teeth were all rusty, made for him and followed him

more than a mile on dry land and nearly swallowed him whole. April 6, 1906, The Bedford Gazette


Vices: Card Playing. Lotteries. Shooting

Matches, Raffling Matches, Cock Fights

and Inhuman Fights


According to the laws of Pennsylvania, all games of chance, of whatever nature, character, name or device, are prohibited under severe penalties and

are declared to be gambling games. I will not, therefore, insult the intelligence of your readers by undertaking to prove that gambling is a crime in this commonwealth. Gambling has been so clearly defined that there is no

excuse for the commission of the offence unless the law is willingly or

carelessly disregarded. And it is only permitted in an apathetic community.

But some persons seek to escape the ignominy which is attached to the

crime by admitting that gambling is a crime, but denying that the particular

games in which they indulge come within the purview of the law prohibiting

gambling. In writing this article, I have no desire nor intention to sit in judgment on those persons who may engage in games of chance, for I am

fully satisfied that they do so unwittingly - that is, they do not understand

or consider the nature of gambling and consequently are unable to

distinguish between a game of chance, or gambling, and an innocent game. I

believe that if a purse of $100 in gold was put up as a stake to be played for,

there would not be ten respectable citizens in Bedford who would join in the

game, for their good sense would tell them that it would be gambling. My

reason then for writing this article is to disabuse the minds of those persons

who are unable to distinguish between games which are unlawful and

those that are innocent. In order to make the distinction perfectly plain

and clear so that no one who honestly and sincerely desires to understand

the difference can in any manner be misled, I will divide the subject

into two parts, although they both come within the laws against gambling

(1) Gambling (2) Lotteries.


In regard to gambling, I will set forth extracts from the laws and give some decisions of the courts thereon, and lastly make a few explanatory remarks.

The act of 1794 prohibits "cock fighting as well as cock fights themselves; all playing at cards, dice, billiards, bowls, shuffle boards or any game of hazard or address for money or other valuable thing, and also horse racing for anything of value." On this act the courts say, "Our early lawmakers evidently considered gambling with cards to be a very low and mean species of gaming, as they have sandwiched it in the above act between cock fighting and horse racing."


Gaming and gambling are synonymous terms in our statutes. "A game is a thing played or done. The word game embraces every contrivance or institution which has for its object to furnish sport, recreation or amusement, and when a stake is laid upon the chance of the game, it is gambling." "A wager is a bet or stake laid upon the result of a game." "The chance - the

universalacception of a game of chance - is such a game as is determined entirely or in part by lot or mere luck."


I could quote many decisions on this point, but I do not desire to lengthen out this article. But to illustrate. A game of innocent amusement consists

of two elements. (1) The parties; (2) The success or defeat of one or the

other. There are no bets, no wagers, no stakes and no chance, nothing won

or lost. On the other hand, the gambling play has in addition to the above

two elements in an innocent game  - (1) The bet, the wager: (2) The chance; (3) The gain or loss of a thing of value.


Now test the fashionable game of progressive euchre or other games of chance by the same rule. In this game there is (1) a stake— no matter what it

may be or how small the value thereof - it makes no difference whether the

stakes or prizes are bought by one or many persons, nor does it matter what

the name of the game; (2) a bet or wager on the result of the game; (3) the chance, who shall win or lose a thing of value.


The courts have decided as follows, to wit: "Playing cards, quoits, dice and other games for drinks, cigars, candy, the charges of any game to risk money or property upon a contingency of chance which, in the nature of things, may or may not happen and whereby the one party will be the gainer and the other the loser; anything which induces men to risk money or property without any hope of return other than to get for nothing any given amount from another, are deemed gambling."


All I have written so far relates to the crime of gambling in general. Now I will locate it.


From 1835 to 1850 there were some half dozen of professional gamblers residing in Bedford who possessed all the necessary gambling paraphernalia (unreadable print) on were largely reinforced by doctors of some of the large cities. There were also a few estimable citizens who were amateur card players. They did not follow it as a business, but they did manage to lose all of their surplus cash in playing with these expert gamblers. I remember when a boy hearing frequently that Mr. A had lost $100, that Mr. B had lost $200, or that Mr. C had lost $300, etc., the night before at a gambling table. It is said that a worm will turn on you if you tread upon it. So in these cases several parties who were literally robbed of their money brought suit to recover it. This course of action and the death of a few resident gamblers broke up the entire business in Bedford.



I will not describe this iniquitous and demoralizing system of gambling which at one time was prevalent throughout the whole country. The provincial government of Pennsylvania as early as 1762 enacted a law for their suppression. In 1833 the legislature passed an act for the entire abolition of lotteries. In 1847 another act was passed excluding the lotteries of any other state of the United States or elsewhere. And by the act of 1860 "all lotteries, whether public or private, for money, goods, wares, or merchandise, chattels, lands, etc., or other matters or things whatsoever" were declared to be common nuisances. The setting up of such lottery is a misdemeanor and subjects the offender or offenders to severe punishment.


Under this act the courts have decided that any distribution of prizes by chance, amounts to an illegal lottery. ["Commonwealth vs. Sheriff of Philadelphia.]


For many years, the men engaged in these gigantic lottery schemes defied the state laws and the courts. And it was only when the United States government throttled the monster by prohibiting the use of United States mails for the transmission of their letters, circulars and tickets, and congress imposed very heavy penalties for attempting so to use the mails, that they yielded to the strong and potent moral sentiment of the country.



In early days, shooting and raffling matches were very common. Expert riflemen and sporting men were in the habit of meeting at some public place several times every year and most generally on Christmas and New Year's day to engage in these games. When they had assembled some one of them would put up a steer or hog or turkey or perhaps a purse of money as a prize to be shot for. (All the prizes except the money were valued greatly beyond their worth.) After the chances in the prize had all been taken, then the shooting commenced, and the party who shot nearest to the centre of the mark won the prize.


In the meantime those persons who were not expert marksmen engaged in raffling matches. The same process was gone through with as is mentioned

above in regard to the shooting match, and when all the chances in the prize were taken then those persons holding the chances raffled for the prize, and the successful party won it. Cards and dice were generally used in the game, but in whatever way the game was decided, it was gambling. In fact, both of these games were gambling, pure and simple. But it speaks well for the people, for over half a century ago their moral sentiment utterly rooted out both these petty gambling amusements.


As there is general misapprehension in the public mind in regard to the scope and meaning of the law against all kinds of lotteries, I deem it not only proper but essential to protect the morals of the young people that the subject should be very fully explained. This misapprehension is so great and widespread that nearly all the agricultural, firemen's, social and church fairs have been misled and have unwittingly violated the law and mad themselves amenable to its pains and penalties.


Under the law, no individual, society, or association of any kind can sell a chance or ticket for any prize, however small the value thereof, whether it be eatables, merchandise, chattels, or lands, without being concerned in a gambling business. I know very well that these good people do these things

under the impression that they are innocent and commendable amusements.

But, alas, they are not. They are the trail of the old serpent.


To elucidate the matter I will now mention two concrete cases which occurred within the last year. A member of a church in Philadelphia conveyed to the church a house and lot in that city. The congregation in order to realize a great deal more than the real value of the property concluded to get up a lottery at $1 per ticket. After several thousand tickets had been sold, the attention of the district attorney of Philadelphia was called to the gambling lottery. He then notified the church authorities that they were violating the laws of the commonwealth against lotteries and unless the lottery was at once withdrawn and the money refunded to the purchasers of tickets, they would be prosecuted. The church, as soon as they learned that they were guilty of violating the laws, withdrew the lottery and refunded the money. I am fully satisfied that these people had no thought or intention to disobey the law.


And within the last year a music dealer opened a store in Bedford and began to sell lottery tickets for certain small musical instruments which were sold by small town boys on the streets to adult persons, perhaps none of them knowing that they were violating the laws of the state. Having met with considerable success in disposing of many of his small musical instruments, he concluded to branch out and sell tickets for a piano, expecting to realize through the lottery about twice its actual value. Accidentally I heard of this attempted violation of the law and I called on District Attorney Simon Sell and requested him to notify the party that unless he desisted from this gambling game he would be prosecuted. Mr. Sell promptly sent a constable to notify him, and immediately he withdrew the prize and soon after left the town. Mr. Sell deserves great commendation for his promptitude in the matter.



Cock fights, a species of gambling game, was also prohibited by law and a penalty of $3 for each offence was imposed. The game was generally managed by the same low class who participated in gambling and horse

racing for money, and oftentimes by boys who generally imitate what they

see men do. Cock fighting was a common game from 1834 to 1846. The cock fighters had a breed of game roosters, large, courageous, and magnificent looking birds with large spear-like gaffs or spurs on their legs with which they often killed each other in the fight. The persons who had no

game cocks with these natural gaffs, attached iron gaffs to their legs so that they would be on an equality. When these cock fights took place they were attended by the lowest element in the town. I remember a student from Franklin county who, every time he would come back to school after vacation, brought two fine game cocks with him in a box, and when he returned home, he took two game roosters with him. These games were very demoralizing, and the people generally were glad when they died out.



There were a few men, and I thank God that there were only a few, who prided themselves on being great fighters (or bullies as they should be called). These few men made it a rule to be present on public occasions, no matter what or where, for the express purpose of engaging in a rough and tumble fight with somebody - no matter who it might be. If no one indicated a desire to fight, they would throw down a challenge to fight any person present, and if that was not sufficient to induce someone to take up the challenge, they would strike someone so as to start a fight. These men were brutal in their instincts and were only one degree above the brutes. Biting off noses or ears and gouging out eyes were not unusual. Happily, public opinion has crushed out all such brutal exhibitions. The only extenuation for this brutality lies in the fact that these men were more or less under the influence of fighting whiskey. And this I say, because on one occasion I heard a drunken man challenge the whole town of Schellsburg to fight him and in order to terrify the population he declared he had never been whipped in his life. Some one jocularly inquired whether he had ever had a fight with anyone and he replied that he had not. So it was evident that his courage was inspired by an overdose of whiskey.


In concluding this article I desire to say that many, very many of my dear relatives and friends differ widely with me on this subject and frequently engage in these chance games, and therefore I declare that I have no intention or wish to wound their feelings, but what I say is from a sense of duty to them. A member of a church is a missionary, or should be, and what he knows to be right he should declare, and what he knows to be wrong he should condemn without respect to persons. With this explanation I will proceed.


I appeal to the candor, the virtue, the sincerity and the honesty of my readers to read this article carefully, considerately and reflectively. I venture my opinion as a lawyer based on the law and the decisions of the courts thereon that all persons who engage in any game of chance, whether with cards, dice or other device under whatever name, in which there is a chance and a prize played for, no matter how small the value of the prize, or in a fair or a festival where a chance or a ticket for a prize is sold, no matter how small the value thereof, guilty in the eyes of the law of gambling and are therefore amenable to its pains and penalties. And I further appeal to them to practice

a little self denial and renounce these questionable games and amusements

on account of the evil influence of their example on young girls and boys. According to my observation, card playing has a tendency to make those who indulge in it excessively, supremely selfish, so much so that they will neglect everybody and everything, even their church duties, to gratify their own sweet pleasure. (This article continues with a discussion from other judges and state's attorneys who uphold Judge Schell's opinions.) April 13, 1906, The Bedford Gazette



The Cumberland Fire - LawrenceTalliaferro - The Moon

Inhabited - A Bloodless Duel - The Kernel and the Shell



On hearing an account of the great fire in Cumberland in 1833, in which a considerable part of the town was burned, the citizens of Bedford held a meeting in the courthouse for the purpose of securing relief for the sufferers.

Dr. William Watson was made president, Jacob Bonnett and Peter Schell, vice-presidents and Jacob Mann and James M. Russell, secretaries. A committee of twelve was appointed to call on the citizens, consisting of Nicholas Lyons, Dr. John H. Hopkins, Daniel Shuck, Daniel Crouse, Thomas I. Bonnett, Charles McDowell, William Reynolds, Thomas B. McElwee, Solomon Reimund, John Young and Samuel Brown. The committee went to Cumberland with $300 in money and $200 in provisions.

The citizens also held a meeting and raised some money to send to the sufferers of Cape De Verde Island, which was swept with a tremendous tidal wave, March 18, 1833. They also held a meeting in March, 1833, in aid of the Philadelphia Bible society who proposed to furnish a copy of the sacred

scriptures to every destitute family in Bedford county, A. J. Cline, secretary.



In 1833 the Philadelphia papers published a report that the cholera was prevailing at Bedford. A denial of this statement was published in the Bedford papers. But I remember very well that Mr. Brown, the agent of one of the stage companies, was brought to Bedford after he had been taken sick

at Chambersburg, and he died of the cholera the next day in the house now occupied by Jeremiah Blymyer, then occupied by William Piper. And later, in the fifties, I think, a Miss Dively was brought here with the cholera which was contracted in Chambersburg and she died the next day in the house now occupied by Morselle Anderson. These were the only eases in Bedford.



Maj. Lawrence Talliaferro was a Virginian by birth and for many years was Indian agent at Fort Dodge. On two different occasions he brought some twenty full blooded Indians with their paint, feathers, tawdry and weapons of war in two stage coaches to the Washington hotel in Bedford on their wayto see the "Great Father," the president of the United States, at Washington to lay before him their grievances and their desires. Immediately on their arrival, the Indians jumped out of the coaches and ran down the steep hill back of the hotel, across the river and up Anderson's hill to gather their favorite smoking bark, called by them "kinikannich." Some people from the country were on the road coming into town and when they got sight of the Indians they very naturally thought of the savage Indians, during the Indian war and they were perfectly paralyzed. They stood still, fearing either to go backward or forward until the Indians passed them without any attempt to injure them - then they came into town and laughed heartily over their great fright.


Major Talliaferro finally resigned the position of Indian agent, and having married Miss Eliza Dillon, of Bedford, he settled here and built the fine residence now owned by Attorney B. D. Tate on Penn and Richard streets.

Major Talliaferro was every inch a soldier as well as a model citizen and a most courteous gentleman. He was also a zealous and consistent Christian. He served as treasurer of the county.



The vast holdings of Robert Morris in mountain land and unlocated land warrants in Bedford and adjoining counties were levied upon and sold in

Pittsburg by the United States marshal about 1830 and were purchased by Abraham Kerns and Samuel M. Barclay, who, under the sale acquired the title to these lands and unlocated land warrants. These unlocated land warrants were good in case any vacant land could be found on which to locate them. In consequence of this fact Mr. Kerns for many years was busily engaged in hunting vacant lands on which to locate these warrants. Just about this time the New York Times announced the sensational discovery that the moon was inhabited. Col. John Piper, of Bedford, who was quite a wag, declared that he did not believe the story. On being pressed for his reason he said he did not believe it because if it were true that the moon was inhabited, Abraham Kerns would have been up there years ago hunting for vacant land on which to locate his land warrants.



John A. Blodgett and Capt. Thomas McElwee were both from Philadelphia, and they were both admitted to the Bedford Bar in 1822. Mr. Blodgett was a great wit, while Captain McElwee was a stern man. Unfortunately he had an irascible and ungovernable temper. For some trivial pun or perhaps for some imaginary insult offered him by Mr. Blodgett, he sent him a challenge to fight a duel with pistols at Cumberland, Md., which was some 30 miles from Bedford. Mr. Blodgett, upon the reception of the challenge, in his waggish way sent a formal declination to accept the challenge for the reason that he had no horse to carry him to Cumberland and that he could not walk there. He, therefore, very politely suggested to Captain McElwee the propriety of challenging Dr. Francis B. Barclay who owned three horses. It is said that Captain McElwee railed violently, but finally cooled down, for no more was ever heard about the duel. The reply to the challenge was both original and effective and proved that wit was mightier than the pistol.



In 1846 Francis Jordan and William P. Schell, soon after their admission to

the Bedford bar, formed a partnership and inserted this notice in the Bedford





President Judge Jeremiah Black soon after reading the notice met Mr. Jordan

and asked him, "Are you a kernel (colonel)?" Mr. Jordan, not quite understanding the question, hesitated what he should say, but the judge very

quickly said, "You must certainly be a kernel (colonel) for I see you have a

shell (Schell). Some years afterward Mr. Jordan, during the civil war, was

appointed pay master with the rank of colonel but his partner remained a

Schell all his life.


While John A. Blodgett was not a great lawyer, he was a fine writer and a very fluent speaker. But his great forte was in puns and witticisms - in fact, he sometimes ran wild in this direction. The following are specimens of his puns:


On one occasion a garden thief attempted to rob Mr. Blodgett's garden and just as the thief had picked up some of his muskmelons and was leaving the garden, Mr. Blodgett caught him by the throat and yelled you can't-e-lope (canta-loupe.)


On another occasion Mr. Blodgett was stopped in front of his office by another member of the bar whom he exceedingly disliked. Just then I happened to be going by and at the same time a farmer came up with a basket of turnips and asked him to buy some. At this question the other gentleman took his departure and then Mr. Blodgett, turning to me, exclaimed, "I despise that man, and I was just hoping that something would "turn up" to make him leave."


A Mr. Barley, a farmer in Bedford township, obtained a warrant from the land office for a small tract of land adjoining his farm which he claimed was vacant, but it was also claimed by the adjoining farmer as part of his farm. Under the law the prior claimant was compelled to bring an action of ejectment against Mr. Barley to resist his claim that the land was vacant. In the trial of the case, Mr. Blodgett, who was attorney for the plaintiff, in his argument to the jury, looking squarely at Mr. Barley, said, "Mr. Barley, in looking over this piece of land, beheld that it was very good land for wheat and that it was very good land for rye, and he then thought that it was very good land for Barley—so he just grabbed the land.



Perhaps a few old people may remember Eli Fisher, with his dog team. He was a native of Franklincounty in this state. He was a poor, unfortunate victim of St. Vitus'sDance - he had no control over the muscles of his face, neck or limbs. They were all in constant motion, and yet he did not give up the thought of doing something in order to earn a living. With a clear head, a brave heart and strong moral courage, he determined to go into business on his own account. He was industrious, honest, kind and obliging. At first he commenced peddling little notions, traveling on foot. In a short time, owing to his industrious habits and a general sympathy for him, he prospered greatly. When he had earned sufficient money, he procured a small peddling wagon, artistically made and painted, with drawers and trays and properly secured against the weather with a capacity of holding several hundred pounds of freight, and a team of four large and strong dogs with suitable harness. The wagon was then loaded with merchandise, such as dress goods, handkerchiefs, shawls, towels, tablecloths, napkins, thread, pins, needles, and a hundred other small articles. The dogs were then hitched to the wagon and he started on his regular trip along the turnpike leading from Chambersburg to Bedford. He had business fore-thought, for he had boxes of goods sent by freight ahead of him to Reamer's hotel, Bedford, and to other places. He usually stopped at every house along the road and he remained several days at the several towns and villages. He made several trips every year. He was very successful in selling out all his goods on each trip. He also took orders for all kinds of dry goods, and in this way many of his customers bought all their merchandise from him. As he was very kind, obliging and honest, he built up a very large and lucrative business. Finally, after earning sufficient money, he opened a dry goods store in Bedford. Here he was very successful, and he accumulated a considerable sum of money. He then married a very sensible woman and had one or two children. Many years ago he removed to Texas where he died a few years ago. Perhaps it would have been better for him to have remained in Bedford among his friends. His store was next to the Bedford House. If ever there was a man who arose above almost innumerable and adverse circumstances, Eli Fisher was the man. His indomitable courage and perseverance should be emulated by others in like circumstances.



As I have been relating so many anecdotes about other people, perhaps it is only fair to them, and to my readers that I should take a dose of my own medicine and tell one on myself. I have never been able to keep step to the tap of the drum, and while my military experience as a cadet in the

Bedford Military academy and my adventures as a corn stalk soldier in the old militia parade should have taught me to do so, yet it is a stern fact that they did not, and yet I was always prompt to keep all my appointments -  even prompt at meal time. In this, respect, I was like a character in Cooper s

Indian Tales, who said his belly was the best clock in the colony for it always told him when it was meal time.


During the late civil war I was a member of a temporary company of home guards and while we were marching in single file through the streets of Bedford, I was sandwiched between John Mower, Esq., and the late Judge Alexander King, when to my great surprise, I discovered that I was keeping admirable time with the music. I was so elated with this discovery that I mentioned the matter to Mr. Mower, who was just in front of me in the ranks, and who was a fine musician. I told him that this was the first time in my life that I was able to keep step with the music. In a quizzical way he asked me whether I knew the reason. I replied that I did not. He then said, "The reason that you can keep time with the music is because the music does not keep time."


Then when I found that I could not keep step to the music of the nation, I determined to put a man in the army in my place who could do so. Although I was then nearly 43 years of age, within two years of the exemption period, I engaged a recruiting agent in Philadelphia to procure me a large, strong and healthy substitute who could keep step with the music of the nation.

On November 26, 1864, he brought me a certificate, which I now have, signed by George Eyster, captain and provost marshal of the 16th district, that William P. Schell had put in a substitute, etc. I paid the agent the sum charged, but I fear my substitute got very little of the money. He had just served one term in the army and was ready for another.


Captain Eyster informed me that under the law, I could get Bedford credited with my substitute and thus save some poor married man from being drafted. I could have gotten $500 from the Philadelphia authorities in case I would get them a credit for the man. But I preferred that Bedford should have the credit, although I expected not one cent. But for some reason I never could ascertain, Bedford received no credit. A few months thereafter, General Lee surrendered his army and thus my substitute was deprived of the glory and honor of being either wounded or killed as a substitute for my humble self. I am glad he escaped. April 20, 1906, The Bedford Gazette



The Old System -Liquor Sold by Merchants

 - A Bold Stand - History of License Laws



In this article it is not my purpose todiscuss the evils of intemperance,either in reference to the physiologicaleffects of alcohol or the economicalevil of the drink habit, nor the politicalevils due to the saloons, for they areacknowledged to exist to an alarming extentby all candid, truthful and honest citizens.


Before there was any legislation on the subject, the right to manufacture and sell spirituous liquors was absolutely free and unrestricted to all persons - as much so as the right of the farmer to sell his rye. But in the lapse of time it was plainly seen by the good and wise men of the nation that this free and unrestricted liberty to manufacture and sell spirituous liquors was creating poverty, crime and insanity in the nation. Hence, some restraining legislation became an absolute necessity for the preservation of the homes and society. Then our Provincial, and afterwards our state, government undertook in their wisdom to devise some method for its restraint and regulation. They conceived the plan of issuing a license to the dealer for which he was required to pay a fixed sum of money. They evidently supposed that by this plan, the liquor traffic could be restrained and regulated and at the same time yield a considerable revenue to support the government. But both these conceptions proved to be fallacious for the reason that they were fundamentally wrong. "No legislation founded on unsound

principles can accomplish a permanent good, whatever be the present seeming."


I am of the opinion that it would have been a much wiser and more effective plan to have prohibited by law, absolutely and entirely, the manufacture and sale of all spirituous liquors except for medicinal and manufacturing purposes. And it is very probable that some day the mighty and potent moral sentiment of this whole country will compel the government to adopt this course in order to save the mass of the people from drunkenness and pauperism.


The Continental congress of 1774 adopted this resolution: "Resolved: That it be recommended to the several legislatures of the United States immediately to pass laws the most effectual for putting an immediate stop to the pernicious practice of distilling grain by which the most extensive evils are likely to be derived if not quickly prevented." In this resolution our patriotic forefathers expressed in strong language the vision they clearly beheld of the fearful curse of intemperance which is now wasting our beloved country. The legal right (without reference to the moral right) of the government over all forms of trade and traffic is one that has been fully established for generations. It can, under law, regulate, suppress, or destroy any form of traffic which it considers immoral to the well-being of the state.


In the supreme court of the United States Justice Harlan said, "That legislation by a state prohibiting the manufacture within her limits of intoxicating liquors to be there sold or bartered for general use as a beverage does not necessarily infringe any right, privilege or immunity secured by the constitution of the United States, is made clear by the decisions of this court." Justice McClean said, "A state regulates its domestic commerce, contracts and transmission of estates, real and personal, and acts upon internal matters which relate to its moral and political welfare."


Under this erroneous method the Provincial government enacted the act of 1721, declaring that all persons were prohibited to sell, barter or deliver any wine, rum, brandy, or other spirituous liquors; beer, cider or mixed strong drinks without a license to do so.


By the act of 1834 the state declared, "No person shall keep a tavern without

a license, etc.," and by the act of 1841 a tavern is defined to be a place "to sell wines, spirituous and other strong drinks." The granting of a license does not restrict the sale of liquor - its only effect is to give those few persons who are able to secure licenses a monopoly of the business, whereby they enrich themselves in a few years.


The history of the liquor license system since its inception will show that the greater the number of licenses granted, the greater became the sale and consumption of spirituous liquors. And in case of the expected revenue from the license system, statistics will show that where the government has received one dollar as revenue from the traffic, it has cost it fifty dollars to cover the costs and expenses of our criminal courts, our jails, our almshouses and our insane asylums which have been almost entirely made necessary by the improper use of liquor as a beverage. It is, therefore, very plain that our early, wise and well-meaning lawmakers and forefathers have made a stupendous and horrible mistake. The most cogent and irrefutable argument for the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of spirituous liquors as a beverage is that it would be for the welfare of the whole human race.


All toxicologists agree that alcohol is the only substance, known in nature, which destroys all the fine affections and unbridles all the brutal passions in man. In fact its constant use, in many cases, transforms men into human tigers, when horrible tragedies are only questions of time. And further it is as utterly impossible, under existing laws, to regulate and control properly and effectually the liquor traffic as it would be to control in like manner a pack of hungry wolves let loose upon a defenseless community - for they are as void of moral sentiment as that class of men who violate the laws daily in selling whiskey to habitual drunkards and boys under age.



In the early settlement of Pennsylvania, there were very few stores, and they were generally opened in the towns - cross-road stores were unknown.  And our early law-makers were so prodigal with liquor licenses that they did not confine them to taverns or inns, but also granted them to merchants to enable them to sell spirituous liquors along with merchandise. This advertisement was published in the True American in Bedford, August 17, 1814: "An excellent and general assortment of goods, wares and merchandise. Likewise a large supply of the choicest liquors, to wit: wines, brandy, spirits, gin, whiskey, rum, etc."


My father was a merchant in Bedford from 1827 up to l837. Like all the other merchants of that time his license covered both merchandise and liquors. I remember very well that the Bedford stores had three blue kegs on a shelf back of the counter labeled respectively, wine, brandy, whiskey. During these years people came from the borders of Somerset, Cambria and

Huntingdon counties and from near Cumberland, Md., to buy merchandise of various kinds. They generally came once or twice in a year in wagons and

in winter on sleds and brought their families with them. It was then the custom as soon as these people entered the stores to offer the women and children a little wine and the men something stronger, perhaps whiskey.

Then such a thing as a temperance society was not in existence and in point of fact it was not thought of.


However, in 1832 my father saw clearly that the liquor business was wrong and sinful. To see this was to act. He immediately declared that he would have nothing more to do with it. He was a man of deep convictions and when he saw that selling liquor was wrong, he was not contented to quit the business himself, but he felt it to be his duty to persuade others to do likewise. I may safely say that he was the first and the original temperance man in Bedfordcounty. At once he commenced holding temperance meetings throughout the county. The first one was held in Bedford, September 1832. He had many meetings in Bedford, Schellsburg, the Great Cove and at other places. He addressed all these meetings, and then he secured the services of Rev. Breckenridge, Rev. Reiley and others, to assist him. His addresses were published in the Bedford papers in 1832 and 1833.


He organized the Bedford County Temperance society with John Mower, Esq., as secretary, on March 28, 1833. This society held many meetings and was usually addressed by some one and if there was no other person on hand my father responded. From that day in September 1832 until the day of his death in 1862, he never relaxed his efforts to stop the liquor traffic, and in this good work he was nobly supported by many of the best citizens in the county. He was maligned, abused and threatened, but conscious of the rectitude of his course, he went right on with his noble work regardless of denunciation, loss of business and the continued opposition of the liquor interests. Among other absurd stories set afloat by his enemies was that he declared that he was in favor of cutting down all the apple orchards in Bedford county so that no more cider could be made. To show how absurd this story was, I know that no man was fonder of having good apple orchards than he was. He planted many young orchards. I remember that in 1831 I helped him to plant one near Bedford and another one in 1838 in Schellsburg. Many times my brothers, John and Abraham, and myself were compelled to resent the above charge when hurled at us when we were boys.


But it is quite different today. A man may now advocate temperance without any fear of injury to his business, property or reputation. When the Sons of Temperance were organized they adopted an age limit for membership admission. This limit excluded my father. I will never forget the pathos of my aged father when he said to me, "It was too bad to exclude me on account of my age.''


(I regret exceedingly that I have not had access to the Bedford newspapers published from 1833 to 1860, for then I could have given further details of the early events. With the exception of a few notes taken some years ago from THE GAZETTE of 1832 and 1833, I have been compelled to rely entirely upon my recollections.)


P. S. I will be greatly obliged for any old papers or information in regard to the early history of Bedfordcounty. The facts will be collated and published with the name of the person who may furnish them. I desire especially to ascertain the names of the scholars who attended the old Bedford academy prior to 1834 and the Classical and Military academy of Rev. Baynard R. Hall. All papers will be returned if desired. April 27, 1906, The Bedford Gazette



Inasmuch as the laws of Pennsylvania authorize the courts to grant licenses to manufacture and sell spiritous liquors on certain specified conditions, as a law abiding citizen I bow before the majesty of the law, although, if an opportunity were given me to vote on the question, I would say NO. But I have this to say of these laws, that they are a curious medley—in fact a patch-work affair—and for this reason the courts are seemingly unable to agree upon the construction of them. But there can be no misunderstanding of the act which declares, "any person willfully furnishing intoxicating

drinks by sale, gift or otherwise, to any person of known intemperate habits, to a minor, or to an insane person for use as a beverage, shall be held, taken and deemed a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, the offender shall be fined not less than $30 and undergo an imprisonment of not less than ten days nor more than sixty days." The same punishment is provided for any person who willfully gives intoxicating drinks to a man when drunk. The courts have decided that minors can be convicted of furnishing liquor to minors or old persons.


The persons to whom licenses are granted may be divided into classes—the one class who strictly obey the laws, the other class who willfully disobey them. For the former class, I have a high respect and many of them are my warm personal friends. Of the latter class I will speak later and anything that I may say denunciatory of them for their violation of the laws has no application to those who obey the laws. It must be admitted that there is a certain odium existing in the minds of a great number of good citizens against licensed tavern keepers who persistently and willfully violate the laws in selling whiskey, etc. to habitual drunkards and boys, and the reason for this is that these persons are looked upon by the community as criminals, who think they ought to be in jail. Owing to the impossibility of ascertaining who are the guilty parties in order to secure their conviction and imprisonment, the odium which attaches to them is naturally transferred to hotel keepers as a class. Most certainly this is unfair and unjust. But I can only see one way in which to remedy this wrong. And that is for the respectable and law abiding hotel keepers, instead of being hostile to the temperance people, to cooperate with them in exposing those who violate the laws so that their license may be revoked and that thereby they may be driven out of a business which they disgrace. This course of the law abiding hotel keepers would relieve them from all possible reproach and at once elevate them and their business in the estimation of all good citizens.


Now I desire to say a few words in all kindness to those persons who are daily violating the laws in selling cigarettes or liquors to boys. Jesus loved little children. He cared for the lilies and the sparrows, and do you of evil thoughts suppose He will not avenge his little ones who you are so grievously injuring? I will give Jesus' own language, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones for I say unto you that in heaven their

angels do always behold the face of their Father which is in heaven. But

whosoever shall cause to stumble one of these little ones which believe in me, it was better for him that a mill stone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Jesus is just and He will avenge all injury done to his little ones by the neglect of their parents or the inhuman conduct of the sellers of cigarettes and liquors. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away our own life or the life of our neighbor unjustly or whatever tendeth thereto. All bible scholars agree on this construction. The man who kills himself drinking whiskey or smoking cigarettes is a self-murderer. The man who sells or gives whiskey to a drunkard or a boy is, in like manner, a murderer. Remember what Jesus, in referring to the sixth commandment, said, "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Now if to be angry with your brother is inceptive murder, how much greater must be the inceptive murderer in giving children whiskey and cigarettes to start them on the downward road to perdition?


I love boys and I look upon them as the future hope, stay and bulwark of the nation, and when I see a boy of six years of age smoking a cigarette and another boy a little older drunk and reeling on the street and the town

lock-up filled night after night with besotted boys, my indignation arises

within me and I cannot repress my abhorrence of the system that tolerates

such wicked, hurtful and diabolical crimes, and my hottest condemnation

of the human ghouls who supply the boys with these death-dealing poisons. Therefore, in view of the temptations of whiskey and cigarettes to which all boys are subject and which are like "the pestilence that walketh in darkness and the destruction that wasteth at noonday," it is incumbent upon all Christian people, and especially parents, to watch the boys closely and incessantly so that they do not fall on the wayside. Under these circumstances I am clearly and decidedly of the opinion that the best way to guard and protect them is to induce them to sign a pledge to abstain entirely from drinking intoxicating liquors or smoking tobacco or cigarettes. But perhaps some few people may not approve of children taking such pledges. I am unable to see any good objection thereto. In the hour of temptation there

will be an anchor to the boys and may save them, whereas if they have not taken a pledge and the temptation meets them, they may fall and be ruined. Every church member, every member of the YPCA and the Epworth League and kindred societies and even every public officer from the president of the United States down to a township officer is required to give a pledge of fidelity to his trust - only in this last case, his pledge is confirmed by an oath. It is said of President Lincoln that he always carried with him a little book in which he had written a pledge not to drink intoxicating liquors and that, invariably when he met a boy he asked him to sign the pledge, and the security of a pledge is shown in this incident. After a fearful battle in the late Civil war a dying wounded soldier was observed lying on the ground and a good Samaritan went to him and offered to quench his thirst with a little brandy, but the dying soldier refused to take it and said, "If you see President Lincoln, tell him that I have never broken the pledge which I signed in his little book." In view therefore of the tremendous efforts which Satan and his satellites are making to destroy the children, it behooves all religious benevolent and charitable associations and societies to enlist at once in asking all boys to sign such pledges, and in that way not only save them but thereby help greatly to create a strong public sentiment which at the same time may save our beloved country from the dismal bog of destruction. It will be remembered that President Lincoln on the eve of a great impending battle vowed in case of success of the Union army he would issue in proclamation declaiming the slaves to be freemen, and when great pressure was brought to bear on him not to do so, he said he remembered his pledge and he nobly fulfilled it.


In conclusion I wish to mention a few causes which militate against the enforcement of our present liquor laws. But before I do so, I desire to say that our president judge, J. M. Woods, is in no way responsible for these hindrances and that he has discharged his judicial function ably, fully, honestly and uprightly. The unfortunate -----ture in regard to this whole license system is that it has become the football of politicians throughout the state. In many cases the bosses (I have no definition of my own, but evidently David had a poor opinion of bosses. He said, "Gather not my soul with sinners in whose hands is mischief and their right hand is full of bribes") select the judges and in return for their selection, they are expected to favor those applicants for licenses who will contribute the largest sum of money to the campaign committee. On this account president judges are sometimes overruled by the associate judges and of many of these it may be

truthfully said that the law they do not know would fill a very large library.

But there is a gleam of hope that the people of all parties may soon root out

all the bosses and with their disappearance all the unjust and unrighteous judges will be swept into the darkness of deserved oblivion. But I am gratified to say that many judges who have been placed on the bench by the bosses have discharged their judicial duties with fidelity, having a greater regard for their judicial reputations than they had fear of the politicians. A partisan, partial, corrupt and unfair judge is the most abject being on earth - even lower than the ballot box stuffer.


Notwithstanding the many shameful violations of the license laws, very few

prosecutions are brought to punish the offender. There must be some cause

for this unfortunate condition of -----. Somebody is responsible for permitting these violators of the laws to escape punishment. To my mind, there are two causes (1) Under existing laws it is almost impossible to prove

the offense. The boys will not tell who sold them the whiskey and the

offender is not bound to incriminate himself. And in case a respectable citizen prosecutes an offender, he is vilely abused by the paid attorneys of the offenders, oftentimes without any protection from the court, and in case

of the acquittal of the offender, the prosecutor will have to pay all the costs. Then the court calls him to stand up and receive the sentence of the court which is that you pay the costs of the prosecution of this case and that you be in the custody of the sheriff until paid. Now, what decent, self-respecting citizen will be willing to submit himself to this contumely and humiliation?


Now the only remedy I can see for ascertaining and punishing these guilty parties is for the judges of the courts of quarter sessions under the discretion vested in them to devise some rule under which citizens who may have seen these drunken men and boys may present a petition to the court accompanied with the proper affidavit setting forth this fact and that affiant does not know who the parties are who furnished the intoxicating liquors to them and praying the court that the said drunken men and boys may be brought into court on subpoenas to testify what they might know in the matter and that in the meantime all the applications for renewal of the licenses be held until the testimony has been taken. Then the courts will have all the facts before them and they can reject all renewals in cases where the previous licenses have been violated. I feel very confident that the adoption of such a rule will put an end to this iniquitous violation of the law.



Many officials who hold elective offices do not discharge their duties for fear of being defeated at the next election. Now this often happens in the

case of faithful officers. But nevertheless, when an official accepts a public office and takes the required oath that he will obey the laws and constitution of Pennsylvania and of the United States and will discharge the duties of the office with fidelity - he accepts the office with that incumbrance and as a true man and good citizen, he ought to respect the solemnity of his oath rather than neglect his duties and thus violate his oath through fear of future defeat of an election. Take the constables, for instance - by the law they are required to visit at least once in each month "all places within their respective jurisdictions where any of said liquors are sold or kept to ascertain if any of the provisions of this act of assembly relating to the sale or furnishing of such liquors have been or are being violated and make return thereof to the next court of quarter sessions."


Now it may be pertinently asked how many of the constables perform their duty? Perhaps one and perhaps none. It may be possible that if there were a strong public sentiment sustaining the constables, they might be more conscientious and efficient.



The act of March 16, 1905, declares, that if any person or persons shall furnish cigarettes or cigarette paper by gift, sale, or otherwise, to any person

or persons under the age of twenty-one years, he or she so offending shall be

guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to

pay a fine of not more than $300 and

not less than $100. This act is exceedingly broad. It not only includes all

stores and shops of every kind but also all individuals—even fathers and mothers. The word furnish is a broad word - it means here to supply, to provide, to obtain - therefore, any person or persons who furnish, supply, or obtain cigarettes to or for a person under 21 years of age by gift, sale, or otherwise - which means in any manner, device or artifice - are liable to conviction under this act.


It is frightful to even consider the tenacious hold which the cigarette habit has on boys. I feel perfectly safe in asserting that a majority of the boys in Bedford between 6 and 21 years of age are habitual cigarette smokers. And yet a large proportion of their parents do not know it, or if they do, they do not care. I have been told that some parents gave their little boys cigarettes. Certainly they do not understand the consequences of their foolish acts. I wish to say to parents that the first cigarette is a prelude to a drink, then crime or insanity, then a prison or an insane asylum, and at last a horrible death in an early grave. Can you acquit yourself of all blame when your conscience accuses? You cannot. Therefore, I implore you to watch your boys closely and get them to tell you who sold them the whiskey or cigarette and where they got the money to pay for them - examine their pockets and scent their breath and you can find out whether they drink or smoke. Then when you find out who the guilty parties are, who supplied them with whiskey and cigarettes, sue them without one day's delay, and you may thereby save your boy and many other boys besides. But if you stand listlessly by and make no effort to save your boy, rest assured that your gr--h-- will be brought down with sorrow to the grave.


The citizens of the town should take some action against the parties who sell cigarettes to the boys. I have been credibly informed by some of the boys that certain dealers have it so arranged with the boys that they can go to the place where the cigarettes are placed and lay down a penny and take up a cigarette. In this foxy way they hope to escape the penalty of the law—but

some day and I hope very soon, they will discover that such a miserable

subterfuge to evade the law wil1 not stand one minute in a court of justice. So beware.  May 4, 1906, The Bedford Gazette



The declaration of the independence of the thirteen colonies on July 4, 1776,

was the most important and illustrious event in the eighteenth century. Ever

since that glorious day, the American people have commemorated its annual

recurrence "with ringing of bells, firing of cannon, bon-fires and illuminations." The day is considered a gala day. The two Bedford military companies always paraded with trim uniforms and burnished arms. A committee was always appointed to superintend the festivities and amusements of the day. In case of pleasant weather, a long table of boards with sufficient seats was erected in some beautiful grove, generally on Barclay's hill, extensive enough to accommodate about 200 persons. The proprietor of one of the hotels was engaged to provide the dinner. The table was spread bountifully with good and substantial food. The Declaration of Independence was read and a suitable oration delivered before dinner. After it was disposed of, the toasts were read. There were always thirteen regular

toasts commemorative of the original states—and one of them was always a

woman, God's best gift to man. After they were read, the volunteer toasts

followed, and they were numerous.


After the services were over, the military companies paraded through the streets of Bedford amid the reverberations of musketry and the roar of cannon. At night the heavens were illuminated with fire crackers and bonfires. It was a great and hallowed day for the American people, and their patriotic throats joined in the great jubilee. In inclement weather the dinners

were served in a hotel. Occasionally, in later years, they were spread on Democratic Hill owned by Job Mann.


The eighth of January, the day of the great victory of the American army under Gen. Andrew Jackson over the British army in the battle of New

Orleans on January 8, 1815, was generally observed by the citizens and soldiery of Bedford with an address and an excellent dinner.


The 22nd of February, the birthday of George Washington, was universally observed throughout the United States. A grand ball was given at one of the hotels in Bedford on the evening, which was attended by ladies and gentlemen of the town who were furnished with an elegant repast. All three of these commemorative services were regularly celebrated in Bedford up to the time of the Mexican war and only occasionally since that time.



Five presidents of the United States have been in Bedford at different times, and I have met all except George Washington, and it was not my fault that I failed to see him for he came too soon for me. Washington came to Bedford during the French-Indian war in 1758 as senior colonel of the Virginia regiments, Colonel Byrd commanding the other. He remained here probably two weeks when he marched with General Forbes' army to Duquesne. His second visit here was on October 19, 1794. He came via Cumberland, Md., where he had reviewed the Virginia and Maryland troops there assembled.

He was accompanied by four dragoons and Henry Knox, secretary of war, Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the treasury and Richard Peters, judge of the United States district court. Governor Mifflin also came with him. On his arrival he was saluted with fifteen guns. Here he reviewed the Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops. All these troops, numbering 13,009, were under the command of Gen. Henry Lee, of Virginia, father of Robert E. Lee, on their way to suppress the whiskey insurrection in western Pennsylvania and Virginia. Washington remained here two days, having his headquarters in the Espy building opposite the Bedford House. He returned to Philadelphia, stopping overnight with William Hartley at Mt. Dallas. He proceeded from thence through Bloody Run by the old Sprout tavern, the three mountain state road, through Fort Littleton, Burnt Cabins, Fannettsburg, Shippensburg and Carlisle.


There were three memorable presidential campaigns - 1840, 1844 and

1848 - which I remember very distinctly. In the first and last of these campaigns I had the pleasure and honor of shaking hands with Gen. William H. Harrison and Gen. Zachary Taylor, who were the Whig presidential candidates for the years 1840 and 1848 respectively.



In the campaign of 1840 Gen. William H. Harrison, of Virginia, the Whig

candidate for the presidency, passed through Bedford on his way to Pittsburg. He was cordially received by the citizens of Bedford generally. This campaign was the most wonderful and exciting that I ever witnessed. It was attended with all kinds of spectacular exhibitions which were successfully designed to captivate the popular eye. The Whig party in Bedford provided the following attractions: (1) A log cabin was erected on the lots on Pitt street, now occupied by Dr. Gump's office and the several shops and stores up to the alley. It was large enough to hold several hundred people, and here nearly every evening mass meetings of the Whig party were held and bitter partisan harangues delivered. (2) They had a frame of a large

ball constructed some fifteen feet in diameter and covered with canvas, containing all manner of political mottoes. Whenever a meeting was held, this large ball was rolled along the roads to the place of meeting. However,

it failed to make many trips. (3) A small log cabin was placed in a wagon and hauled from place to place whenever there was a meeting to be held. On the top of the cabin sat a man with a live raccoon on a pole. (4) Wherever there was a meeting to be held, it was arranged to have one or more wagons on hand, with barrels of hard cider, which was dealt out to all callers free of charge, at the rear end of the wagons.


All the large bills announcing these meetings contained a life size of a coon. I remember seeing Joseph E. Brady, a member of congress, of the Franklin

district, in Chambersburg in 1840, sitting on the top of a log cabin mounted

on a wagon with a live coon, in the great Whig procession. The battle cry

was "Tippacanoe and Tyler too." These spectacular devices had their effect

upon the masses and Gen. Harrison was elected by a large majority over Martin Van Buren. After his inauguration only a few weeks had transpired

when he was taken ill very suddenly and passed away on April 4, 1841, sorrowfully mourned by the whole nation.



James K. Polk was elected to the presidency over Henry Clay under the

war cry of "Polk, Dallas and the tariff of 1842." The excitement in this campaign lacked all of the spectacular exhibitions which characterized the Harrison campaign of 1840. But both parties held large mass meetings in Bedford and large delegations came to both meetings in wagons, carriages

and on horseback from all parts of the county. The young Democrats generally carried poke stalks for canes.


During his (Polk's) term of service as president, Job Mann, our congressman, prevailed on him to visit Bedford Springs. He came here with Mr. Mann and spent nearly a week. He was given a cordial reception by the citizens of Bedford without respect of party. Mr. Mann, General Bowman, and other prominent Democrats, desired to take him to Schellsburg as old mother Napier gave him upwards of 300 majority. So a large party of Democrats including the above named persons and William T. Daugherty, Samuel H. Tate, James Reamer, Joseph F. Loy, Francis C. Reamer, myself and many others whose names I do not remember, accompanied the president to Schellsburg. We stopped at the hostelry of that old Berks county Democrat, Isaac Mengle, who gave us an elegant dinner. The people of Schellsburg and the surrounding country came in troops to welcome him. The president expressed himself highly delighted with the trip, the warm hospitality and cordial reception of the people and the well cooked and plentiful dinner. We returned to Bedford late in the afternoon, and the carriage in which I rode broke down and our party did not reach Bedford until late that night.


I cast my first presidential vote for James K. Polk in 1844. At the time of the election we had no daily papers nor telegraph wires. We depended altogether

on the news brought by the daily stage coaches. I remember for hours and for days the news was very uncertain as to the result of the election. Finally after several days of suspense, a great many of us remained up until three o'clock a. m. waiting for the arrival of the mail coach when Dr. Jonas McClintock, of Pittsburg, jumped from the coach, and before we could

ask him, he announced that New York had gone for Polk and that secured his election. It is unnecessary to relate how some of the waiting party were

rejoiced and how some others were dejected. A few days thereafter the

Democrats had a barbecue and roasted a whole beef in Major Sellers' meadow near Boydstown.



Soon after the termination of the Mexican war in which General Zachary

Taylor had so gloriously distinguished himself, he was nominated for the presidency by the Whig party. He stopped at Bedford on his way to Pittsburg

and the citizens of Bedford and vicinity, irrespective of party, gave him a warm and cordial reception. They also tendered him a grand ball at the Bedford Springs hotel, and although I was a Democrat, I was appointed

on the committee of arrangements and I accepted the honor with pleasure. His famous command in the hotly contested battle of Buena Vista, "Give them a little more grape, Captain Bragg," won him a victory as triumphant over Lewis Cass as it did over the Mexican army.


He was inaugurated March 4, 1849, and in 1850, a little over one year, the

nation was startled with the sorrowing intelligence that the president in

the inscrutable providence of God was stricken down to the grave. A short time before the arrival of General Taylor, Vice-president George M. Dallas also stopped at Bedford on his way to Pittsburg. He was cordially received by the citizens of Bedford. He was a candidate for the nomination of the presidency.



This distinguished statesman had been a regular attendant at the Bedford Springs since 1840, and in consequence of his frequent visits and his affable and agreeable manners, he was well known and had many warm personal

friends in Bedford. When he visited Bedford, many distinguished statesmen and politicians of all parties and from many sections of the union came here. In 1856 he was nominated for the presidency by the Democratic party. In that year the present Republican party was organized in Philadelphia by a fusion of the northern Whigs, the Free Soil Democrats, and the Abolition party. They nominated Fremont for president and the dissatisfied northern and southern Whigs nominated Filmore. Mr. Buchanan was elected. When at Bedford Springs, he usually fixed a day to meet his friends at the Bedford House in Bedford. But in the campaign of 1856 he received his friends at my house on Pitt street. Mr. Buchanan continued his visits to Bedford Springs during his occupancy of the presidential chair and afterwards until his death. While here during his presidential term every day he received a special mail pouch with his mail. He signed many official papers at Bedford Springs.



This campaign made an indelible impression on my boyish mind. In that year at the age of ten years I was sent to the Schellsburg academy for one year. Professor Allen, a graduate of Jeffersoncollege and highly recommended by Dr. Brown had charge of it. It was an excellent school and was largely attended. Here I learned my first lesson in politics. A few days before the presidential election in 1832 when the candidates were Andrew Jackson, Democrat; Henry Clay, National Republican; and William Wirt, Anti-Mason, an afternoon holiday was given to the schools for the purpose of folding tickets for Jackson. From the fact that the teachers and all the scholars joined cheerfully in folding those tickets (and I remember how long they were) I very naturally supposed that everybody was for Jackson. And

this belief was greatly strengthened when I heard that the Democrats of old Berks continued to vote for Jackson long after he was dead. And when I heard Judge Jeremiah S. Black deliver his impressive eulogy on Jackson in which he said, "The love which other men had for their children, Andrew Jackson had for his country." I began to regret that I had not, like my Berks county brethren, continued to vote for Jackson after he was dead.



Some time before 1828 the order of Free Masons had spread rapidly and widely over Pennsylvania and a few other states. About that time a report was circulated over the country that a member of the order named Morgan,

who, after having been solemnly initiated into the secrets of the order, had

basely revealed them; and for that betrayal the Masonic order had him condemned to death; and for that purpose a committee of Masons had been appointed, and that they drowned him in Lake Erie. Another report stated that he had been put to death in some other way. Whether these reports were

true, no one knows and probably no one will ever know. But the report was generally believed and it created an intense excitement and a great upheaval

in Pennsylvania and adjoining states.


Anti-Masonic meetings were held in nearly all the counties in the state in which the killing of the unfortunate Morgan was portrayed and condemned. In consequence of these meetings the Anti-Masonic party was gaining so many adherents that it became necessary for the Democratic party to hold county meetings to oppose and condemn this new party. In fact, such a meeting was held in Bedford on August 20, 1833. The officers were Peter

Schell, president; Jacob Bonnett, vice-president, and George McKinney and

Job Mann, secretaries. Thaddeus Stevens was credited with being the prime organizer and factor of the Anti-Masonic party. In order to show the

strength of this party in Pennsylvania I submit the following table:


In 1829 at the Governor's election, George Wolf, Democrat, had 78,219 votes and Joseph Ritner, Anti-Mason, had 61,770 votes.


In 1832 Wolf had 91,385 votes and Ritner 88,165. (At the presidential election for the same year William Writ was the Anti-Mason candidate for president, and he with Henry Clay, national Republican candidate, together, received 66,689 votes and Andrew Jackson 91,949 votes.)


In 1835 - By this time the Anti-Masonic party had entirely absorbed the national Republican party, and the Democratic party was compelled to recognize it as an important political factor. In this year Ritner, Anti Masonic candidate, had 94,013 and was elected governor by a plurality. The Democrats were divided, Muhlenburg, regular Democrat, had 40,586 votes and Wolf, independent Democrat, had 65,804. Governor Ritner appointed Thaddeus Stevens secretary of the commonwealth and he was really the premier of the Ritner administration.


In 1838 David R. Porter, Democrat, having reached 129,825 votes defeated Ritner, Anti-Masonic, who received 122,321. This defeat of Ritner caused the collapse of the Anti-Masonic party. Thaddeus Stevens tried to prevent the inauguration of Governor Porter and thereby brought on the famous bloodless "Buck Shot war." But it is said that for many years after Anti-Masonry was a corpse, the ''Frosty Sons of Thunder" in Somerset county continued to rally under the Anti-Masonic banner and every year declared that with one more onslaught, Masonry would be dead.


In 1852 when I went to the house of representatives at Harrisburg, I was introduced to James L. Gillis, the member from Elk county. He was a large, robust and intelligent man apparently about 60 years of age. He was a very

active member and evidently understood what he was doing. He was pleasant and affable in his manner. When I was informed that he was the man who killed Morgan, I did not believe it. Afterwards he removed to the west, and I met him again in Harrisburg about 1859.


The most singular part of this whole movement in Bedfordcounty was that some of the men who were most violently opposed to Masonry, afterwards became some of its most zealous members. I suppose this was the case elsewhere. (I have no bias in this matter, for I do not belong to any secret sociaty.) May 11, 1906, The Bedford Gazette

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