History of Danville, Climate and Longevity

Created: Wednesday, 10 December 2008 Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 Written by Nathan Zipfel Print Email

Climate and Longevity.

In glancing at the climate of Danville and the longevity of its people, I again copy from the memoranda of Mr. J. Frazer. He says, the climate of Danville is exceedingly favorable to the health and longevity of its inhabitants. Epidemics seldom prevail. Its near proximity to 41° north latitude, approximates that of the insalubrious cities of Pekin, Constantinople, Naples, and Barcelona. Yet the isothermal line shows that it corresponds with the more salubrious regions of New Jersey, Long Island, England, Ireland, Belgium, Southern Germany, the Crimea, China, Japan, Washington Territory, Montana, Nebraska, most of which are several degrees north of its parallel of latitude, and showing a divergence between that and the isothermal line.

The peculiar and admirable location of Danville is most favorable. The description of the mountain in a far remote geological period, caused by the bursting through its barriers by the pent-up waters of an ancient lake or primeval ocean on its northern side, or by some other stupendous convulsion of nature, scooped out a gateway through Montour Ridge to effect an outlet for the Mahoning, and thus afford a most admirable site for the town. It reminds us of the Blue Ridge, cloven asunder to yield a passage for the Potomac below its confluence with the Shenandoah, at Harper's Ferry, which Jefferson so graphically described, and to see which, he asserted, was worth a voyage across the Atlantic. And thus Danville is in a favorable situation to receive the sunshine of early spring, the balmy and invigorating breezes of summer, which reach it from the Susquehanna, and the prolonged and delightful autumn. Few places are so highly favored. The extreme old age of many of its people corroborates this, extending, as they do, much beyond the three score and ten years of the Psalmist. o From memory we can recall the names of the following ancient residents of the place and vicinity who attained a great age: Robert Finny, ninty-five years; Mrs.. Jane Montgomery, ninty-three years; John Sechler, ninty-three years; Peter Baldy, ninty-two ; Sarah Lloyd, ninty-one; Joseph Maus, Rudolph Sechler, William Philips, each ninety; Charles M. Frazer, eighty-nine; George A. Frick, eighty-six; Michael Blue, eighty-four; William Donaldson, the Revolutionary patriot, eighty-two; Thomas Woodside, John Deen, John Moore, each eighty; and the following beyond the seventy years: Paul Adams, John Frazer, John Russel, John Reynolds, John Cooper, John Montgomery, John Yerrick, Daniel Frazer, Daniel Woodside, Dr. David Petrekin, William Whitaker, William Yorks, Samuel Yorks. To this list scores, now living or recently deceased, could be added. Among those still living, are the following octogenarians: Jacob Sechler, flinty years; Dr. William H. Magill, eighty-six; Judge William Donalson, now of Pottsville, in his eighty-second year. Many others of a good old age could be enumerated who are "natives to the manor born," or who resided here for many years. Among these is Rev. Samuel Montgomery, now of Oberlin, Ohio, in his seventy-fifth year.

The health of a people is a desideratum of the first importance. Without it, all the temporal blessings lose much of their value. This is painfully apparent in the South, and in some places in the great West. Surrounded by regions of exuberant fertility, yet so unhealthy that the valitudinary inhabitants would gladly exchange their luxurious homes for those of less productiveness, if they could thereby have their impaired health restored. The people of Danville should duly appreciate the great blessing they enjoy in having so favorable a climate.

SOURCE:  Page(s) 22-23; Danville, Montour County Pennsylvania; D.H.B. Brower, Harrisburg; 1881