Abbildungen der Seite

employ a smith to make one of the primitive grates of the day.


These grates had so little draught to them that most of the salphar from the ooal entered the room. Before the advent of coal fires everybody had the outaneon- eruption known as the seven-year itch. In f amilies where ooal was used it soon disappeared and the luxury of scratching entirely reaped with the introduction of coal fir«s. It may astonish many to learn the fact that because this ne v kind of sulphur cure offered a cheap, quick sovereign remedy for what was then prevalent throughout the country in spite of brimstone rolls and ointments assiduously employed, it more readily was adopted by the wood burners and choppers. No powder or pick was necessary to securn coal. A crowbar or hand spike and a pock basket constituted the entire mining machinery of the valley in 1810.

The Richest Dimple. The richest dimple in the Appalaciau chain of mountains is known as the LacknwaniM ooal field. No minor vale in any province, territory or State has so widely diffused it* name throughout the hemispheres as lias this, simply by the wonder of its devolpmtnt and the rigor of its coal literature. The anthracite field of Lackawanna, with that of Wyoming lying in Lackawanna and Ln/.erne Counties, in Pennsylvania, within one hundred and fifty miles of the seaboard, embraces the territory above the Blue Mountains, known in coal nomenclature as the "Northern Coal District," was purchased of the Indians comprising the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix, in the Province of New York, July 11, 1754, by the Connecticut Susquehanna Company, before the wild men knew of the nature or existence of coal or the value of the wide tract they ceded to the whites for a trifle. It was not sought out by the emigrants from New England for its anthracite, because they too were without knowledge of its presence or value.

The consideration given the assembled chiefs was £2,000, New York currency, equal to 810,000 in silver. This sum, unlike annuities promised the savages in the great West for their possessions to-day, was honestly paid them on the spot. Covered with forests whose depths were rarely trodden by warriors and never mapped by the canoelovers who claimed them from their fathers, the purchase was made by the whites for the reason that the mild character of the climate and the fertility of the soil, especially along the Susquehanna and Lackawanna lowlands, where fish and game were abundant, assured the husbandman of plenty from the very

start, without extraordinary labor or exertion.

A century retires before the coal revolution. Mbn will read these articles whose infant cries were lulled to sleep by a mother's song at eventide beside the wood fire aglow in the old fire place without measuring in their minds the transition from the wood to the coal period. So thoroughly and yet so quie ly has this great, grand revolution been carried on in a spirit of rivalry, if not extravagance, that many in their haste for wealth, have forgotten the hanging of the crane over the hearthstones where they were born.—H. Hollister, Af. D., in Seranton J ruth.

Death of a Former Wllkes-Barreau.

Hay.—At his residence in Mnulton Township, three miles west of Wapakonetu, O., on Feb. 18, 1887, of Bright's disease, Charles Hay, aged f» years, 0 months and 27 days.

We copy the above death notice from the Auglaize Republican of 17th of February. The deceased was born in Wilkea-Barre Township, now Plains, July 15, 1817. He was a son of Henry Hay. blacksmith, whose shop and place of residence was the first house this side of the late Esquire James Stark's place ou the main road leading to Pittston. He was married in 1849 to Ellen Jackson, of Wilkns-Barre, and removed to Auglaize County, Ohio, in the fall of 1855, where he has since lived. His wife died in July 1868, leaving a family of five girls and a son, all now living. For his second wife he married Martha Young, of Auglaize, in 1870, who died in 1879, leaviug fonr children, all now living, in 1881 he married Miss Mary Larue, of Wilkea-Barre, who stall survives him. Mr. Hay was a kind husband and an affectionate father. He has paid several visits to his native town since removing to the West, and was always welcomed kindly by the few of his former neighbors and friends of old Plains who knew him well as boy and man for so many years, and who still survive him; but the old stock of thirty-five years ago are becoming few and far between: a new people, with new pursuits and new objects in life have almost wholly supplanted the original tillers of the soil and driven them to seek new homes, many of them on the rich farm lands towards the region of the setting sun, while the subterranean toilers in the mines now here risk life and limb to gain a soanty subsistence in bringing to the surface our black diamonds of commerce.

A history of the Dean Family is now being published by Dean Dudley, Wakefield, Mass. The work is illustrated, has tabular pedigrees and sells for $5—$1 each for 5 parts. The author invites data from representatives of the Dudley family.


A Representative of Several Distinguished Ploaeer Families of Wyoming Valley —Her Funeral.

The last tribnte of respect waB paid to the memory of the late Mrs.Abi S. Butler March 15, by a large concourse of sorrowing friends at the residence of her danghter, Mrs. Rath B. Hillard. Tbe services were conducted by the pastor of the First M. E. Obarob,to which deceased had belonged since childhood. He was assisted by Rev. Dr. Y. 0. Smith, the oldest surviving pastor of the church, he having served from 1864 to 1866. The latter made a most touching address. A choir consisting of Miss Nellie Wells, Miss Edith Puckey, Frank Fuckey and John C. Jeffries sang the hymns. There wis a profusion of beautiful flowers. The honorary pall bearers were W. W. L onus, F. V. Rockafellow, L. 1). Shoemaker, N. Rutter, Josiah Lewis and Richard Sharpe, and the carriers were C. B. Price, Wm. Dickover, E. J. Stnrdevant, Thomas Connor, 1 heron Burnet and G. W. Kirfcendall. Among the relittives from out of town were Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Sayre Jr., Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Ayres, Mr. and Mrs. 11. E. Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Chahoon, Mrs. Nice, Mrs. John B. Luve, Mrs. Mary Butler Reynolds. Fierce Butler and Mrs. Martha Butler. Other family representatives were George Slocum Bennett, Frank A. Fhelps, W. L. Conyogham, Charles Parrish, Col. C. M. Conyngbam, Jadge Woodward, Mrs. Amanda Butler, C. E. Butler. Interment took place in Uollenback Cemetery.

Mrs. Butler's talher, Joseph Slocum, wasa a prominent man iu old Wilkes Barre and took a leading part in local affairs. He married, in 1800, Sarah, daughter of Judge Jesse Fell, whose disoovery that anthracite oool could be burned in an ordinary open grate was made in 1808, the first discovery that anthracite could be used for domestic purposes. There were seven children from this union. Hannah, born 1800, married Ziha Bennett and died in 1855. Rn'h Tripp, born 1804. married Gen. Wm 8. Ross and died in 1882 Deborah, born 1806, married Anuing Chahoou. Abi Slocum, born 1808, married Lord Butler and died in 1887. George, born 1812, married Mary Grandon. Jonathan, born 1815, married Elizabeth Cutler Le Clerc, and died in I860. Hsrriet Elizibeth, born 1819, married Charles B. Drake and is the only one of the children living.

At the age of 24 Abi Slocum was married to Col Lord Butler, She spent h i entire life in Wilkes-Barre. Her daughter, Ruth

B., is the widow of W. S. Hillard. Mary B„ is the wife of Eugene B. Ayres. Of tour sons, Joseph. Zebulon, Ziba and Edmund G., the latter is the only one living. Mrs. Butler was a Methodist by training and by preference and her happiest hours were spent within the walls of the sanctuary. She was a woman whose heart beat quick to every call for help, and there will be many poor families who, in her death, lose a friend who was ever dispensing aid. Her charities were quiet, but wide reaching. She was the first president of the Board of Lady Managers of the Wilkes-Barre Hospital and memberof the lady managers of tbe Home for the Friendless, taking an active interest in both. Mrs. Butler s demise was not unanticipated, as she had for some time been in an apparent decline, with, however, little or no suffering attending it.

Mrs. Batler's husband was a son of Gen. Lord Butler, and a grandson of Col Zebulon Butler. The latter bore a distinguished part in the troublous times of early Wyoming, and was in command of the heroic baud of settlers who fought the combined force of British, Indians and Tories iu 1778. Zebulon Butler married for his first wife Anna Lord, and it was from this union that the elder Lord Butler was born at Lyme, Conn., in 1770. Lord Butler became prominent in Wyoming affairs, was advanced to the highest position in the local militia, was the first sheriff of Luzerne County, and afterwards held the positions of prothonotary, clerk of the courts, register and recorder, court then being held at his house, earner of River and Northampton Streets, where Jndge Stanley Woodward now lives. Iu 1790 he was a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the State, iu 1794 he was postmaster of Wilkes-Barre, in 1801 he wus a State Assemblyman, and afterwards was county commissioner and county treasurer. Still later be was a to>vii councilman of Wilkes Barre Borough, its president, and from 1811 to 1814 was burgess. He married Mary Fierce, granddaughter of Abel Pierce, one of the original settlers in Wyoming.

Their youngest son borehisfather's name, Lord Butler, and he wa* born in 1806. He married in 1832 the subject of this sketch, who was two years his junior, but who survived her husband 25 years, he dying in 1861 at the brick building on Public Square now occupied by Brown's book store. This building was erected by his wife's father. Joseph Slocum, in 1807. I» was the first brick house erected in Wilkes-Barre. Lorl Butler, 2d, was a civil engineer by profession,and was identified with several important constructions in this region. During the last 20 years of bis life he was engaged in ooal mining at Pittstoo, with hin brother.Ool. John L. Bntler.and his brother in-law, Judge Oarriek Mallery. He was a leading man in the M. E. Church. His wife organized a Snnday sohool in Wilkes Barre as early as 1828.

The subject of this sketch wan a niece of the celebrated Frances Slocnm, who was captured by the Indians in 1778 and carried from her Wilkes-Barre home into the wilderness by a roving band of Delaware*, she being at this time five years of age. The story of her captivity and her romantic finding nearly 60 years later, among a tribe of Western Iodiaos, is familiar to every schoolohild. The niece, whose death has jast occnrred, Whs the porsess'ir of a lite-size portrait, in Indian garb, of the "Lost Sister." who conld not be persuaded to return to her kindred, but preferred to die among the children of the forest, the only friends of whom she had any knowledge.

An Old Wyoming Poem.

So far us we know the following beautiful lines have never appe red in any newspaper. They are taken from a rare volume, in the posse-*-ion of the H-storical Society, entitled "The Harp of the Beech Woorls." printed and published at Montrose in 1822 by Adam Wnldie, the author being Juliana Frances Turner, who describes her volume as being made up solely from ' the wild flowers of the forest." It is a collection of extremely meritorious verses and was presented to the Bociety in 1858 by Edward S. Loop:


Aci;pu to thee. Wyoming, loveliest vale!

To thy monntains. thy rills and thy groves. To the flowers which in clusters enamel thy dale, *

Where the birds tell the tale of their loves.

Where the spirits of Albert and Gertrude are seen

By (Cynthia's pale shadowy light, Wnile the dark 'utaiissi and Henry's mil' mien "Look lik. morning led on by the night."

Where the genius of Campbell ha) loved to rep**e

His might and his sweetness of ver=e, Where th-i bloom of the thistle it-, wild magic throws

O'er the scene his bright numbers rehearse.

Adieu ye sweet shades! from my mind whilst 1 live

Yonr rem mbrance never will fade;
Fond fancy in song oft her trihn e shaH give
To each hill aud each beautiful glade.

Ex-Surgeon General Hammond, the eminent New York physician, has issued another historical novel from the press of D. Appleton it Co., entitled "On the Susquehanna." The scene is laid at Harrisburg and people in Dauphin County claim to see through the thin disguises of many of the characters.

Ornnkeness Now and Then.

The letters of "Steele Penne" in the Media American are always entertaining in their style and independent in their sentiments. Not the least so is a recent comparison of the liquor habit a century ago with the liqoor habit to-day, whioh comparison redounds much to the discredit of our sober ancestors.

Steele Penne has taken the pains, he says —and we will accept his word for it -to look over some of the old records, and diligent search therein has persuaded him that we have progressed more rapidly in everything else than in drunkenness. Such a bold statement in defiance of the rhetoric and warnings of male and female lecturers on the spirituous degeneracy of the times, savors of a temerity that all will admire. We will append, for the justification of "Steele Penne." a ft w of the f eta that he claims in support of his conclusion.

First, then, there are not as many public houses where liquor is sold under a liornse in this country as there were a century ago. In Delaware County, at that ana ent day, there were six time - as many liquor places, in proportion to the population, as at present. In Chester County, cited as the present paradise of liquor dealers, the ratio in one hundred years has fallenin a wonderful degree.

It is claimed, and with apparent foundation, b> the unterrified "Steele Penne" that illicit liquor selling was carried on to a greater extent in the age of oar great-grandfathers than in the present day. Drinking on Sunday is shown to have been a favorite and general Custom at the public houses, a popular beverage being "etamppon," so-called doubtless from its strength. Drinking at funerals was a common custom much honored in the observance.

In order to inspire big bids at vendues, liquor was on draught, free to all, and as plenteous as water. In fact, liquor appears to h <ve been a concomitant of every social, political or mixed gathering. Jurors, in capital cases on trial, were invigorated for their deliberations by the ram bottle, and bills for such refreshment for jurors, commissioners, assessors and justices were paid by the county. The custom of drinking on New Year's Day is so recently abandoned as to be readily recalled.

All in all, "Steele Penne" makes out a strung case for his conclusion that drinking and drunkenness are not at present so prevalent as in the days ot our sober ancestors. That the liquor habit is still the worst social evil that the world is struggling with "Steele Penne" does not attempt to confute; if he were to make the attempt we are sure he would find it beyond his power.

Tliu >icw Malu librarian.

Oar telegraphic columns announced several days ago the appointment of Dr. Win. H. Egle, of Harri»bnrg, as State Librarian. Although there were other available men among the applicants, notably the venerable editor of the York Dispatch, Mr. Hiram Young, it is safe to say that the appointment of Dr. Egle could not have been improved upon. Dr. Egle is 56 years of age and has always lived in Harrisburg. In his boyhood days he learned the printer's trade and subsequently had charge of the State printing. He also en gaged for a time in editorial work in Harrisburg. At the age of 24 he began the study ot medicine, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1850. He practiced his profession in Harrisburg until 1802,when after the second Bull Run he was telegraphed for by Adjutant General Russell, of Pennsylvania, to go to Washington to assist in the care of the wounded, which duty he performed. Soon after he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the 96th P. V., and in 1863 surgeon of the 47th P. V. militia. Afterwards President Lincoln appointed him surgeon of volunteers and he was ordered to Kentucky and elsewhere. During the Appomattox campaign he was chief executive medical officer of Biraey's Division, 34th Army Corps, and later held the same position in the 25th Corns.

At the close of the war Dr. Egle again located in Harrisburg. but a taste for literary pursuits tempered, perhaps, with the absence of the excitement of field life, made private practice irk-ome and he did but little of it, engaging meanwhile in the drug trade, which he still follows as closely as his literary work will lerant.

Upon the organization of the National Guard of Pennsylvania in 1870 he was appointed surgeun-in-chief of the Fifth Division, witn the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and he is now the senior medical officer in the N. G. P.

He is a member of many historical and learned societies in America and England. He is the author of a "History of Pennsylvania," published iu 1876 and was associated with Hon. John Blain Linn, in edit ing 13 volumes of the second series of "Pennsylvania Archives." Later productions of his pen are histories of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties and the initial volume of "Pennsylvania Genealogies," a superb volume of over 700 pages. Dr. Egle edits the department of Notes and Queries in the Harrisburg Telegraph, a historical feature which finds »n imitator in 'he Historical Co'umn of the we- kly Record

He will bring to hisautie* of State Librarian, a mind admirably adapted to the work in hand, an experience in the realm of State

history having no equal in the Commonwealth, and an enthusiasm born of love for books that will revolutionize the State Library. Gov. Beaver is entitled to the thanks of all good citizens for making the appointment.

Death of Silas Alexander.

IDaily Record. March 5.] At 30 minutes to 7 last evening Silas Alexander, the serious accident to whom was reported in Thursday's Recobd, died at his residence over Bergold's meat market on East Market Street. Since his severe fall on Wednesday afternoon by which a leg was fractured and one hip dislocated he had been steadily sinking, and the effects of his injuries were further aggravated by the manifestations of kidney disease. Since Thursday afternoon he had been partially unconscious and could with difficulty be aroused from his comatose condition. He seemed to Buffer considerably, but his last hurs were more calm and he appeared comparatively free from pain.

Mr. Alexander was born in Dover, Sussex County, N. J.f April 25, 1799, his parents being of English extraction. He was educated at the Newton Academy in New Jersey, and having completed his course there took charge of the institution for one term. His parents had died when he was quite young and he had been brought up by an uncle. In 1820 he left his native town and moved to Nantiooke where he continuously resided for over 50 years. At first be taught school in that town but after a few years opened a general store which was largely patronized by the boatmen who plied on the canal. He was married Oct. 19, 1821, to Elizabeth, daughter of Valentine Smith, of Newport township, by whom he had 13 children, seven of whom survive him. His wife died in September. 1871, and Nov. 20, 1878 he married Mb second wife, the widow of Samuel Puterbaugh, by whom he is survived though no children resulted from this union.

His surviving children are Cyrus, John J., Kugene. Adrian, Phoebe, wife of William LeiseDring, who reside in Nanticoke, Duran C, a prosperous merchant of Laporte. Ind; and Washington, who resides in Benton township.

Mr. Alexander moved to this city some eight or ten years ago but still cirried on the store at Nanticoke until about two years ago whed he sold out to his son Eugene who now carries on the business. The funeral will probably take place Tuesday afternoon with interment in Hanover Green cemetory. He leaves an estate valued at $300,000.

The Year Without a Summer.

The Record desires to elicit some details from its readers as to the famous "cold summer" of 1816. Some of our readers can recall that year from their own memories, while others have heard the story as it was told.

Oq the 18th of August, 1886, Mrs. A drew Rnub died in Luzerne Borough at the advanced age of 95 years. In the Record's biographical sketch of this venerable mother appeared the following reference to the famous "cold su umer:"

"Her husband, who came from New Jersey to visit friends in Wyoming Valley was wont to tell his children ever afterwards about that visit, for it was during the cold summer of 1816—a year when every month had its frost. He used to say that in June there was » snow storm which bore heavily upon the wheat, then in bloom; that many of the farmers took clothes lines and scraped the snow from the bending grain; that those who did this lost their crops, while the ones who trusted to nature bad no harm come to their grain; and that when the harvest finally came the farm hands went to the fields wearing their great coats."

The following reminiscence of that remarkable year is credited to Mr. Abram Runyon, the venerable father of Chancellor Runyon, which he recently wrote to R friend at Plainfield, N. J.:

"In the year 1816 there was a sharp frost in every month. It was known as the 'year without a summer.' The farmers used to refer to it as 'eighteen hundred and starve to death.' In May ice formed half an inch thick, buds and flowers were frozen and corn killed. Frost, and ice and snow were common in June; almost every green thing was killed, and the fruit was nearly all destroyed. Snow fell to the depth of three inches in New York and Massachusetts, and ten inches in Maine. July was accompanied with frost and ice. On the 6th ice was formed of the thickness of window glass in New York, New England and Pennsylvania. In Augu't ice formed half an inch tnick. A cold Northern wind prevailed nearly all summer. Corn was so frozen that a great deal of it was cut down and dried for fodder. Very little ripened in New England, and scarcely any in the Middle States, and farmers were obliged to pay $4 and 85 a bushel for corn of 1815, for seed for the next spring's planting."

The Cold Summer of 1816. Editob Rkcobd: Yon ask for reminiscences of the "cold summer" of 1816. That year was a sorry time for farmers and all others that tried to raise crops of any kind, as well as for consumers who were obliged

to purchase provisions or any of the necessaries of life. Wages of the laboring classes were not high in proportion to the cost of liviug. It was a hard time for toe poor. For two months of that summer there were three black spots on the sun, plainly visible to the naked eye; the weather most of the time was so cool that woolen apparel was absolutely necessary for comfort. There were severe frosts several nights during each summer month, and the small amount of corn that got through to the month of September, and was then in the milk state, was entirely frozen and killed, and the ears of corn in the husks became rotton. The stench was so offensive that people would avoid passing a cornfield when the wind was toward them. Cattle would not eat the stalks until the rotten ears were taken off. It was said, and probably truthfully, that not a bushel of sound corn was raised in Luzerne County that season. Nor were there any fruit or garden vegetables raised that frost could kill. But during these privations of the people, they had one comfort, there was the greatest run of shad up the Susquehanna River that Spring that was ever before or since known. The shad fishery was on the west side of the river, opposite the mouth of Mill Creek. The shad seine of the fishery was owned by a company of men from both sides of the river; my father owned a share and I, although a boy of only 13 years, was boss of the Brail Canoe; there were in the upper end of the fishery, about ten rods from the west shore, two large stones or rocks, over which the sinker line had to be raised by lifting the Brazil of the sinker line and keeping it up till the rocks were passed. This was my part of the duties of the fishery. Some days not a shad could be caught, some other days, a few, or perhaps a few hundred would be taken, but on one day three thousand shad were hauled in at that fishery. I will not attempt to describe the fun and frolic of throwing the shade out of the water on to the beach when they were hauled near the shore in the shallow water by the seine. It was rare sport. Dilton Y'abington.

Carbondale, March 15, 1887.

The Scranton Truth has begun the publication of a series of sketches of Early Days in the Lackawanna Valley, written especially for that paper by the historian and antiquarian, Dr. H. Holliater, who is well and favorably known by Record readers.

The Carbondale Leader says that "the Wilkes-Bsrre Record is the historical paper of this region and that it is doing good work in rescuing from oblivion many of the incidents of local history connected with the Laokawanna and Wyoming Valleys."

« ZurückWeiter »