#253 November 2021

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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

Punxsutawney Women in the Military:

Sgt. Holly Malone and Major Katy Dorsey By Danielle Merrow for Hometown magazine ovember 11 is Veterans Day- a day to recognize those who have served and those who continue to serve. It is a day to honor those who have fought and those who continue to fight to keep this country safe. The men and women who make the sacrifices necessary to serve do so willingly, putting country first- above their families and personal lives, above their own safety- in order to keep the rest of us safe and free. In 2000, about 4% of the military was women. That number is expected to grow to about 18% in the next 20 years (USA Today Special Edition, Veterans Affairs 2020). Of the 250+ veteran banners adorning downtown utility posts, about six of those are of women, according to Joe Hetrick, who has documented each banner and its location. Punxsutawney Area High School graduates of the class of 2003, Sgt. Holly Malone (US Army, Retired) served for nine years and Major Katy Dorsey, US Army Veterinary Corps Officer, has served for the past seven and a half years, but Dorsey has lived the military life for far longer. “Both of my grandfathers were in the army,” Dorsey says. “My dad was in the Marine Corps. And my younger brother was also in the Army.” In fact, Dorsey credits part of her decision to become a veterinarian to having lived in Africa during one of her dad’s assignments when she was six. “I remember being very empathetic because animals there were not well taken care of: Donkeys were used to carry heavy equipment and groceries, and they were mangy and emaciated. There were so many stray and dead cats and dogs everywhere. I wanted to be able to help.” Alternatively, Malone joined the Army because she didn’t know what she wanted to do after high school. “I didn’t know what I was signing up for. I didn’t apply to any colleges. I was smart but not motivated, and I didn’t want to be told what to do. My dad and brother told me I’d never make it through basic training, so I did it. The Army was good for me. I learned discipline, motivation, and it certainly helped me years later when I decided to start my bakery business.”

N On the cover: (Clockwise, from top left) These pictures highlight articles found in this issue of Hometown. They are as follows: childhood photo of John Vernon Robertson and Margaret Ruth Coxson; a scene from downtown Punxsutawney in the mid20th Century; PAHS graduates and women in service Major Katy Dorsey and Sgt. Holly Malone; current members of the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce; and Grant Smith, a Ringgold Township native who served in WWI.

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Malone’s unit had a chance to shoot sniper rifles at the range (Submitted photos) CPT Dorsey with one of her military working dogs at Patrick Air Force Base, FL. These dogs are trained as attack dogs and to detect explosives and drugs. Army veterinarians are stationed at Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine (Submitted photos)

Malone began serving as 54B NBC Decon (nuclear biological and chemical decontamination specialist) in 2003, where her duties included testing air particles for chemical and biological threats. Reclassed as a 92A warehouse supply specialist, she would go where she was needed. Her first deployment was to Kuwait in 2005. She served as Battalion Command Secretary and as Battle Captain Clerk, where she was responsible for overseeing smaller battalions for six months. Next, Malone was chosen for a spot in a Bahrain map support office where she used MOS (which stands for Military Operation Specialty Code) 52 alpha. This assignment required maintaining maps for areas where all troops were located. She then participated in missions to the Middle East, where she helped to keep inventory on all United States military maps. She also deployed to Qatar, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where she supported special ops, on a compound within a compound. After a family tragedy brought her back to the States, she finished her tour at home station in Dubois. There she was in the Reserves for three years and retired in 2012. Dorsey completed undergrad studies at

Clarion University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Afterward, she pursued her graduate studies at the University of Maryland, graduating with her Master’s degree in animal science, and then earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Dorsey’s decision to serve in the Army, she says, happened for two reasons. Laughing, Dorsey says, “I’ll give you the honest answer - two things: I initially had a passion for research, and I also had a passion for animals. In grad school I discovered I could mix the two things if I became a laboratory animal veterinarian: a vet who works with animals used in research. We have to follow certain protocols in research. I love research, but I also care deeply about animals. In vet school, I went on a group trip to the DC area and toured the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and USDA facilities, as well as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), which has a well-respected laboratory animal facility. Also, I was pretty poor. I was in so much debt from school that it was literally keeping me awake at night. I didn’t know how I would pay off my student loans, and the Army offered financial incentives. I applied for and was awarded an Army scholarship that would pay for three years of vet school - Continued on next page






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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253 – 3

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Sgt. Holly Malone’s Basic Training Photo

from separation from loved ones for extended periods of time, stress of a demanding and/or high visibility job, or other reasons.” Dorsey adds about her duty, “And one of the CPT(P) Dorsey’s promotion to MAJ in 2020 biggest parts of this job is advocating for the animal: making sure the animals are treated as humanely as possible throughout the research, and finding good homes for the Continued from previous page animals at the conclusion of our research if I put in fours-years active duty and some studies.” reserve time. By joining the Army, I could While research and animal advocacy make get out of debt.” up a large part of Dorsey’s responsibilities, Dorsey continues to explain, “So I went to she is also responsible for veterinary school and civilian employees upon graduation, I working in her lab, as well became an Army as leading and mentoring veterinarian and an Soldiers. As a woman in a Army officer.” stereotypically male In regard to her current position, Dorsey notes she undertaking, Dorsey has developed a lot of says, “My passion now is strength and resiliency in improving human health this role. and human medicine “The Army places through animal research. emphasis on equality,” Research cannot be done she acknowledges. “The on people for treatments same jobs that used to be like chemotherapy, open only to men are now vaccines, prosthetics, available to women, too. drugs, etc. without first Women are taking it upon being tested in animals. themselves to break the We are developing mold in a male dominated interventions to be implemented on the CPT Dorsey at the range qualifying on military force. With all battlefield at point of the M4 rifle. All Soldiers, regardless of that said, there are still injury to increase the their job, are required to qualify annually hurdles, preconceived on their weapon. notions and stereotypes women are trying to overcome.” “In my job,” Dorsey continues, “I’ve definitely had to defy stereotypes, having to make my presence known, prove my intelligence. You always feel like you have to prove yourself, especially as a woman.” Despite standing a petite 5’3” tall and weighing 110 lbs, Dorsey still has to train with the men. Because of the recently instituted Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), Sgt. Holly Malone Malone participating in range safety women are held to the same for weapons qualification. standards as men. “I have to meet the same minimum standards as a man twice probability of a full recovery. Anything my size. While the new PT test is a huge relevant to the military service member, challenge for many women, it is not we’re seeking to improve. We are impossible for women to excel at it. We just researching reversing acute and chronic have to train harder than our male injuries like noise-induced hearing loss counterparts. My job in the Army has caused by gunfire, loud vehicles, equipment, definitely made me more physically and explosions, etc, and we’re conducting PTSD mentally resilient. I don’t want to appear studies. People most commonly view PTSD weak; I don’t want to let my Soldiers and as the result of being deployed to a war zone, colleagues down, and I feel the need to in which soldiers may be exposed to represent all women. As an officer, there is traumatic events. But PTSD can also result

Punxsutawney Women

- Continued on next page

4 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

Punxsutawney Women Continued from previous page no option to give up; if you give up, you make it okay for everyone else to give up too.” Malone didn’t feel such a distinct disadvantage physically, but she met with her own set of challenges. “I’ve always been built a little bit bigger; I have a muscular frame,” she explains. But she still felt she had to work harder to prove herself in her jobs. “I guess it’s not much different from the civilian world,” she says. “As a woman, you just have more to prove. If a guy messes up, it’s fine, he’s a guy; if a woman messes up, it draws a lot of attention. We’re built differently, and both sexes bring our own sets of strengths.” On the other hand, Dorsey reflects, her military experience isn’t all that different from that of her male counterparts. “My job is similar to a man’s in that we all wear multiple hats no matter what job we’re in. You never just do the one job you were hired to do. Each assignment is completely different. We all start from scratch when starting a new assignment. You have to make new contacts, figure out your support system at work and in your personal life. In addition, we all change jobs/assignments every one to three years. We all experience hardship in having to move so frequently.” Another way her military experience is similar to a man’s is the familial bond all members share. She states, “The camaraderie we share is big for all of us- men and women alike. There is a common phrase used in the Army: ‘Embrace the Suck.’ It doesn’t matter if your latest assignment is a great job or a crappy job, the Army teaches you to be resilient in whatever job you’re in. You learn to make the best of what’s given to you. You understand what other service members go through- it’s a brotherhood, a sisterhood- a family. We understand the hardships of being in the military. It brings us closer together. And no matter who you are, or what your job is- if you need me, I’m there for you.” Malone adds, “I’ve known people my entire life- friends, true friends- but I know I can call my military friends from anywhere in the world and they would be there for me.” Dorsey’s previous assignments include the following: Fort Belvoir, VA; Patrick Air Force Base, FL; San Antonio, TX; and Fort Carson, CO. While stationed in Florida, Dorsey frequently deployed to Key West and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she performed many tasks including hurricane relief work. She is currently in the Washington, D.C. area where she is continuing her education in a residency program specializing in laboratory animal medicine. She will become board certified in her specialty in 2024. “I enjoy my job even though I’m mostly behind the scenes,” Dorsey notes. “I love what I do, and I love the significance of what I do and the impact I get to have on Soldiers and future Soldiers. For me-for all of us- we all volunteer to be in the military. I fulfilled my contract a while ago and have chosen to continue my service. I like the challenges. It’s not easy, but I want to help make a difference in our Soldiers’ lives.” Dorsey says, “many days people thank me for my service. They don’t ask what I do in the Army and I don’t tell them. I thank them for their support. As Soldiers in uniform, we

represent the Army in its entirety. To be a representative of the entire Army is a huge privilege, and it means a lot to us to have our country’s support. I think people feel good and want us to know that they do appreciate us. I don’t take that responsibility lightly.” To a young woman considering entering the armed forces, Dorsey’s advice is, “Never lose sight of what you want. Always keep your goals in mind, and don’t be discouraged by people who doubt you. Don’t let your emotions take over when people doubt you. Stay professional and maintain your integrity so you can sleep well at night knowing you did the right thing. Look for your support system in your personal life and in the work environment. Find a good mentor to help you develop a plan to reach your goals. Stay true to yourself. And learn to love yourself

and be gentle with yourself when you make mistakes. Remember that you are still only human.” Malone says her advice to young women aspiring to the military would be: “You can do it. Have no doubts and run with it. Don’t let anything stop you and just go! Like I tell my daughter: ‘I don’t want to hear what if. Just do it.’ You don’t learn from success; you learn from failure. I’ve had bad and I’ve seen bad, but it’s made me a stronger person. There’s always a silver lining, and I’m grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had. Dorsey is inspired by Lieutenant General Nadja West, the first African-American surgeon general of the U.S. Army and the first African-American female three-star general. Amongst her myriad lifetime accomplishments, LTG West is also the

highest-ranking woman to graduate from West Point. Malone admires many of the women she served with. “A lot of them, I’ll never even know their real names,” she says. “I only know the names they used in the military, but I’ll never forget them.” Being a veteran, to Dorsey, is a means to carrying on the traditions of her family. “We can bond over that part of our lives, spanning generations,” she notes. Malone adds, “I’m proud that I had the chance to serve my country. I love our country. It didn’t mean as much until I became a parent, but I’m happy our country is free and our children get to grow up with the freedoms that I fought for- that so many others fought for and lost their lives for.” •••

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253 – 5


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Waterfowl Hunters Sought for Study

ttention waterfowl hunters: the Pennsylvania Game Commission is seeking your cooperation in a study that will evaluate to what extent contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins and heavy metals are affecting ducks and geese.  Like fish, waterfowl can store these contaminants at levels that affect their own health and pose a risk to hunters who harvest and consume them. Existing statewide guidelines recommend mergansers should not be eaten; other diving ducks, if properly prepared, should be eaten only occasionally; and dabbling ducks and geese safely can be eaten, if properly prepared. Information obtained through the upcoming study will help determine if the existing health advisory still is warranted or if it should be updated in any way. Results of this study will not impact hunting regulations. Hunters participating in the study should be willing to donate mallards, black ducks, wood ducks, green-winged teal, and Canada geese upon request. Par-

ticipants will be asked to provide information on where and when the bird was harvested and provide a photo or two of the bird’s wing. The bird must then be stored frozen, and the Game Commission will contact the hunter within 48 hours if the bird will be collected for testing. The Game Commission will send a biologist to collect the sample. Hunters wishing to take part in the study must complete the registration form at the following link: https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/webform/con taminants-in-waterfowl. Hunters who register will receive further information on how to report their harvests. “Hunters always play a vital role in wildlife conservation, and through efforts like these, they can help their conservation agency learn more about what’s going on with wildlife than ever would be possible without them,” said Game Commission Waterfowl Program Specialist Nate Huck. “Their interest and participation in this study is greatly appreciated.” •••



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eople want to grow old gracefully and maintain their independence as long as possible. There are many decisions to make as well as information to wade through to ensure needs are met and proper care is received through one’s golden years. Individuals, caregivers and families may find that a few helping hands along the way can be invaluable. Numerous elder care resources are available for those who don’t know where to look. Start by researching the National Council on Aging (www.ncoa.org). This is a national leader and trusted association that helps people age 60 and older. The council works with nonprofit organizations, governments and businesses to organize programs and services at the community level. This is a good place to find senior programs that can help with healthy aging — emotionally, physically and financially. AARP (www.aarp.org) is yet another organization dedicated to helping seniors. The comprehensive AARP website offers a host of information on everything from senior discounts to products to health and other information specific to seniors. The AARP also has an affiliated charity that works to help low-income seniors procure life’s necessities. At the local level in the United States, the federal government has mandated Area Agency on Aging (www.n4a.org) facilities in every county/city. These agencies can provide information on service programs available to the seniors in the area, as well as financial resources. These facilities give seniors access to volunteers who can take seniors around by car, and some provide meals-on-wheels services. The Administration for Community Living (www.acl.org) was established to help older adults and people of all ages with disabilities live where they choose. A network of community-based organizations helps millions of people age in place. ElderCare Canada is an advice and action consulting service that helps seniors with a variety of different services. They can offer resources on setting up home care, finding retirement residences, moving, or navigating the health care system. Military veterans or those who are/were married to a veteran may be eligible for various benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (www.va.gov). The VA offers health care services, disability compensation, burial benefits, and much more. Seniors have many different resources at their disposal that can help answer questions or provide services when the need arises. •••

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8 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

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He wrote a letter to his aunt Nell Brown, his mother’s sister, on May 23, 1918. The letter was published in the Brookville Republican on June 27, 1918. In his letter (as cited below) he tells of his travel across the Atlantic Ocean and his experiences in France and the war. He left blanks for military confidential information.

Shown is Ringgold around the year 1900. It was the hometown of Grant Smith.

Lest We Forget

sisted in their search by Genealogy Assistant Pam Grube Hogan.  Grant Wheeler Smith was the son of C. s Veterans Day approaches, we are Burton and Bertha Brown Smith. He grew reminded of those who up on a farm in Ringgold Townserved in WW I and of ship, Jefferson County. He was those who made the ultimate 26 years old and had been worksacrifice for this democracy ing in Youngstown, Ohio, when and this country. on July 26, 1917, his name ap Friday, October 8, 2021, Julia peared as No. 870 on the first Catchpole and her sister, list of draftees from Jefferson Nancy Jane Ikeda, visited the County. The numbers of the inLattimer House of the Punxdividuals in the draft were sutawney Area Historical and drawn randomly. He was musGenealogical Society. They tered in and assigned to Combrought with them several pany F, 167th U.S. Infantry and photographs and a copy of the sent to Camp Lee, Virginia, for Punxsutawney News from training. September 11, 1918. They Grant Smith, pictured  In February 1918, after having were seeking information on above, made the ultimate completed training at Fort Lee sacrifice during WWI. their family and to find the and spending a military leave graves of the parents of their maternal with his family, Private Grant W. Smith uncle Grant W. Smith. They were ably aswas shipped overseas.


By Shirley J. Sharp for Hometown magazine

of the next day, when we landed. We then hiked about three miles out form the harbor to where there were some barracks and we stayed there for two days.  The country around these barracks was very picturesque out in the country. Stone walls were built around the fields and these walls were covered with vines which were just beginning to turn green. After staying there for two days we were en“Dear Aunt Nell: trained for another “somewhere in  I just received your letter of March 3, a France.” We rode on the train for twentyfew days ago, and was awful glad to hear four hours until we arrived at a village in from you. I had often thought of writing central France. Around this village there you, but you know how it is when one is were large vineyards. It appears that the busy working every day and it appears if a principle occupation of the people is to soldier never has any time of raise grapes and make wine. his own, especially when in the  At this village there was an war zone. old castle that was built be I will try to give you a little defore America was discovered scription of my trip in crossing by Columbus. Considering the ocean and what little I have the age, the castle was in traveled through France. pretty good shape. We  I got on-board ship at stayed here about ten days __________, February 26, when I was transferred into and sailed the next day. another company and went to We had a very pleasant voynew billets about five miles age; the sea was very calm away in another small village. except one day, when we were There was another old castle in a storm. On the way over which had been finished in the lookout sighted a subma1534, with some other old rine—or thought he did—-and This image is the picture of scenery that I am not allowed several shots were fired at it. Grant Smith from Fort Lee, to describe as it would give It turned out to be some wreck- Virginia, that he referenced away one of our camps, in age drifting by. Very few of the in his letter. case the enemy should see boys were sea sick. this letter. In the castle was  We pulled into a harbor “somewhere in one room which had not been remodeled France” on our tenth day out, and believe or refurnished since the castle was finme, I was glad to see land, even if it was ished. This castle was very nicely furin a foreign country. We drifted along the nished on the inside, as the man who coast of France for several hours before owns it lives in it. we got into the harbor where we dropped  I stayed with this company for two weeks, anchor about noon. We stayed on-board when I was again transferred into still anthe boat that night and until the afternoon - Continued on page 15

Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253 – 11

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VFW Auxiliary Announces Kick-Off of Annual Patriotic Art Scholarship Contest By Gloria Kerr for Hometown magazine VFW Auxiliary Post 2076 is excited to announce the kick-off of the VFW Auxiliary’s annual Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. Local students in grades 9-12, whether attending a district school, homeschool or cyberschool, have the opportunity to compete for $33,000 in national scholarships. Students must submit an original two- or three-dimensional piece of artwork. Digital art, photography and jewelry are not acceptable. The entry must have been completed during the current 2021-2022 school year, and the application must include a teacher or supervising adult’s signature. Students begin by competing at the local

About the VFW Auxiliary: The VFW Auxiliary is one of the nation’s oldest veterans’ service organization and our members are the relatives of those who served in a location of foreign conflict. We have nearly 470,000 members representing all 50 states who volunteer millions of hours and give millions of dollars to support veterans, military service personnel and their families. We are a voice for veterans on Capitol Hill and are instrumental in assisting the VFW pass or block legislation that impacts vet-

erans and their families. We are one of the top 10 providers of volunteer hours in the VA medical system. Every year, members fundraise millions of dollars for charitable projects that benefit veterans and their families. We also provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for our nation’s youth. With more than 3,600 Auxiliaries, there is likely one in your area working to improve the lives of America’s uncommon heroes. Learn more at www.vfwauxiliary.org.    • • •

Previous winner: “Two Sides of a Female Soldier” by Shreya Balla Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 9885 Westland, Michigan Photo from vfwauxiliary.org/scholarships/young-americancreative-patriotic-art-contest/

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VFW Auxiliary level. The first-place winner from each auxiliary advances to district competition with district winners advancing to the state competition. State firstplace winners compete for their share of $33,000 in national awards, and the national first-place winner is awarded a $15,000 scholarship. National firstthrough twelfth-place winners are featured in VFW Auxiliary Magazine and on the VFW Auxiliary website. All state winning entries are judged at National Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, in July 2022 and will be displayed at the VFW Auxiliary National Convention scheduled to take place July 16-21, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. The VFW Auxiliary started the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and to encourage patriotism in youth. Approximately 4,000 students participate each year, and in addition to $33,000 in national scholarships, local and state VFW Auxiliaries throughout the nation award more than $150,000 in Patriotic Art Scholarships every year. Student entries must be submitted to Punxsutawney VFW Auxiliary Post 2076, 121 Maple Ave., Punxsutawney, by March 31, 2022. Interested students, parents and teachers should contact Dr. Gloria Kerr at 814-427-2951, text her at 814-249-2287, or email her at drgkerr@gmail.com for more information. To download an application and see all the 2021 winners, visit https://vfwauxiliary.org /scholarships.

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The bodies of Grant Smith and three other American Soldiers were buried at this small French Cemetery named “Cimitere de la Madelaine” No. 13, in the ruined village of Souain, north of Chalous-sur-Marne.

Lest We Forget Continued from page 11 other company. We entrained one Saturday night about 10:30 and rode all that night and all day Sunday and Sunday night until 6 o’clock Monday afternoon. When we got off the train we were in the war zone. Here my company was all split up and a few of us were transferred into one company and a few in another, until now there are but a few of us left together. In less than a month from the time I landed in France, I was up in the front line trenches. I have been up twice now.  It is not so bad up at the front along the sector that my company has been on duty, as I thought that it was, from what I had read in the paper, but, I guess that it is bad enough up on the big front.  Our anti-aircraft guns shot down a German plane the other day and the flyer was taken prisoner. He said that the war would be over in two weeks. I hope that it is true, but I don’t believe that what he says is true. I was standing looking out of my billet window this morning watching a detail at work when a German observation balloon discovered them and gave their artillery the range. They threw over several ‘subs’ but they done no more damage than to blow several holes in the ground.  One can walk out over the country for several miles back of the firing liens and find large shell holes that have been blown out by ‘subs’. There are whole villages that have been blown to pieces by the artillery; there will hardly a house left standing that has not been hit by a shell. The houses are built of stone.  The people over here all live in small villages; one don’t see farm houses out through the country like they are in the States. And most of the farmers use large teams of oxen to do their farming.  When we are up at the front we sleep in dug-outs—-for what little sleep we get. Some of these dug-outs have been in use so long, and kept in such an unsanitary condition, that they are full of ‘cooties’ and the first thing to be done when we get back is to have all our clothes sterilized. We are cleaning the dug-outs up and trying to get them in more sanitary condition.  The country over here is mostly level. They have some very beautiful scenery over here. I can stand and look out of my billet window and see for miles across the country to the mountains in the distance.  All through the month of April it was very wet; it rained almost every day, but now it has cleared up and we are having some very nice weather but it is awful hot during the day. We have only about sixteen hours of sunshine every day and it gets awful hot.  I was surprised when I heard that Roy had gone and enlisted. I think that he will appreciate his home more after he spends a few months over here—if he is fortunate enough to get back again. Also surprise to hear that Pete is married, as I had expected to hear that he was in the army by this time.

I had some pictures taken while at Camp Lee, but don’t have any of them with me. I don’t remember if I left any extra ones at home or not as they were not very good. If there are any at home you can persuade mother to give you one it will be alright with me. I will close for today, as this is some letter for me to write since I came over. This leaves me well and in the best of health. Your nephew, PVT GRANT W. SMITH Co. F. 167th U.S. Inf. A.E.F, via New York”

Burton and Bertha Smith, parents of Grant W. Smith, received a telegram from the War Department in Washington, D.C., on August 23, 1918, informing them that their son had been killed in action. The front page of the Punxsutawney News contained an article entitled “HE MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE FOR WORLD DEMOCRACY,” which informed the community. The Brookville newspapers added Grant W. Smith to their list of Jefferson County men killed in the war. He was the ninth. The others were as follows: Roy Lowers, Sigel; Russell Barnett, Rose Township; Edward Keough, Conifer; Lieut. George T. Rodgers, Brookville; Amos di Pierro, Sykesville; Wesley G. Straitwell, Knox Township; John Laird, Winslow Township; and Cad C. Haugh, Union Township.  A letter from W.R. Castle, Jr., at the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington informed his sister Elizabeth, Mrs. D.R. Catchpole, that Grant W. Smith gave the ultimate sacrifice for the United States when he was killed in action during the Champagne-Marne Defensive at Suippes Sector. His body was buried at the French Military Cemetery at Souain, France. The letter reported that the grave of Grant W. Smith had been located in a small French cemetery named “Cimitere de la Madelaine” No. 13, in the ruined village of Souain, north of Chalous-sur-Marne. His grave was identified as No. 63 and marked by a cross bearing his name, company and regiment and contained the date 15-7-18 (July 15, 1918). This information was provided by Elizabeth Anderson, one of the Red Cross Worker, who advised that the day before Easter she placed an American flag and some spring flowers on the grave. Mr. Castle noted that, “It must be comforting to you to know that your brother’s grave is cared for by an American woman.”  Today, a monument stands in the Ringgold cemetery in honor of Grant W. Smith. Veterans Day is a time to remember those who have bravely fought and those who died so democracy may continue. •••

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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253 – 15

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(front row, l. to r.)Mandi Perry, Lacy Bair, Shannon Kaza (treasurer), Kim Neigh (Secretary), Katie Laska (president), Lacey Laney, Tara Heckler; (back row) Katie Donald, Thomas Lesniewski, Roque Carrasco, Devon Vallies, Jill Martin- Rend, Dan Gordon, Larry Chenoga, Cody Billotte. Missing from photo: Luke Riddle, Jeremy Limerick, Stevette Rosen (vice president). Photo by Katie Donald

Punxsutawney Chamber Celebrates Chamber of Commerce Month By Danielle Merrow for Hometown magazine ctober is Chamber of Commerce month, and Katie Laska, the president of the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce, says that the local chamber continues its work in the community to help local businesses and individuals prosper. Board member Mandi Perry says, “The Chamber’s goal is to support the community. We want to advocate for the town- for businesses, for tourists and for residents; we want to create a welcoming place in Punxsutawney. We want to help support growth to help the town prosper and be what it can be by focusing on the downtown area and businesses.” The Punxsutawney Chamber consists of eighteen members (a complete, updated list can be found on the group’s webpage: https://punxsutawney.com/). Its mission statement says that “The Chamber shall promote and market the Punxsutawney Area, be an advocate and catalyst for community and economic growth and provide the leadership and collaboration to achieve community prosperity.” “The Chamber is for the business community. People visit here every daynot just Groundhog Day. We want to encourage businesses to always present the best version of their business,” Laska says. “Groundhog Day is important to the whole town,” Perry says. “We try to help everyone.” The Chamber of Commerce works hard to encourage businesses to present the best version of their storefronts yearround. Laska says “snow removal on Groundhog Day, when required, is a big part of making our tourists feel welcome” on the biggest tourist day of the year. The Chamber of Commerce is responsible for fundraising for and


organizing events like Blues, Brews, and BBQ’s, the Festival in the Park and fireworks. It is also responsible for the hero banners displayed on downtown utility poles. This summer the members contributed funds to help pay for the Lion’s Club mural. The money from these events helps the Chamber provide donations back to the community. “We try to give back as much as we can,” Laska adds. While the Chamber works to support local business growth, it also helps individuals within the community. Residents looking for support in finding rental housing can find direction from the Chamber, and most general inquiries about residential life in Punxs’y can be directed to the Chamber as well. The group also hosts monthly mixers for Chamber-associated businesses to promote networking between professionals. Laska notes that, “2020 took those things away from us, and we are finally getting back to holding our monthly mixers, legislative breakfasts and Meet the Candidate nights.” Laska says the Chamber is currently in the planning stages of the 2021 Home for the Holidays Parade with the Punxsutawney Eagles, who is the main sponsor of the event. Volunteers are always needed. “There’s no need to be a member of the board to volunteer,” Laska says. Sponsors are always needed to help raise funds that can be donated back to the community as well. Laska admits that fundraising can be tricky. “We recognize that businesses are asked for sponsorships every day, so we try not to ask too often,” she says. “But the money raised from these efforts goes back into the town to make it all it can be,” Perry adds. •••

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• Allow small children to draw the face of the pumpkin and have an adult carve it out • Jack-o-lanterns with candles should be kept out of the way of trick-or-treaters so their costumes won’t accidentally catch on fire • Remind kids not to get into cars or talk to strangers, look both ways before crossing streets and follow traffic lights that tell you when to cross • Make sure an adult accompanies your young children • If your older kids are responsible enough to go out without an adult, plan a safe route and set a time for them to be home • Explain the difference between tricks and vandalism to your children • Remind your children to stay in groups and well lit, populated areas • Do not let your kids eat any treats until they are examined by you at home • Have your child carry a flashlight, glow stick or reflective gear so they are more visible for cars

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Through nearly 100 years, three buildings on West Mahoning Street reflect changes in downtown Punxsutawney. The Feicht’s Drug Store, for many, The Arcade, since 1977, and ASH (Agape Student Housing), since 2014, exist in many memories of the past. (1930’s post card from Hometown file, 1982 Arcade photo and ASH photo by S. Thomas Curry)

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By S. Thomas Curry of Hometown magazine

hroughout the year 2021, in Hometown magazine, the writer in this series has focused on the buildings in the 100 block of West Mahoning Street, on the south side of the downtown business district in Punxsutawney. Depending on what section of the town one had lived, or in what direction folk approached Punxsutawney from a nearby township, it was either “downtown,” “uptown” or simply “going to town.” For sure, Punxsutawney’s business district was bigger and better than the shopping opportunities provided by the family-operated stores in nearby towns or the neighborhoods of Punxsutawney, such as West End, East End and Elk Run. Each had its own group of small, locally owned, necessary stores and businesses. For many years, since the late 1890s, downtown Punxsutawney was a big city


In recent years, residents and visitors to Punxsutawney will remember the area of the former Arcade shops that was remodeled to include the three-story building nearby. Housing for culinary students and other apartments replaced the junior-senior high school of the Punxsutawney Christian School (photo courtesy of George “Butch” White).

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with large glass, street-level store front windows. Images of that downtown architecture are captured in clearly detailed black and white photographs reproduced from glass negatives of the White Studio, printed by the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society 40 years ago and then preserved. The cherished photo views of the downtown, as it was seen since the early 1900s, are available at the Lattimer House of PAHGS, as well as color post cards of the streets, too. Oh, the memories of “shopping downtown!” The memories include those of generations past, our parents’ generation, grandparents’, and ours, too. The Hometown magazine series about that block of 100 West Mahoning Street began with the early 1900s, when the three-story Eberhart Department Building and the Snyder Brothers Building replaced older two-story structures of the

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past. Many readers will relate to experiences at Murphy’s 5 & 10 and McCrory’s 5 & 10 stores. In 1902, Dr. John E. Grube built a narrow four-story building on the west side of the Snyder Brothers (McCrory’s) Building. Those buildings began a new era of substantial buildings in the downtown landscape. Before these three massive buildings were erected, in 1899, a “modern” three-story brick and stone building had been built, referred to as the Torrence Block. Punxsutawney businesses looked forward to a future full of exciting possibilities. A promising future in Punxsutawney history then became the past, with periods of time that included devastating fires. In 1974, it was the old Grube Hospital building (Feicht’s Drug Store Building, to many). In December 1988, it was a fire in the Polly’s Fashion Shop building. The result of those disasters in the center of that West Mahoning business section was a redesigned, unique “indoor shopping mall” (The Arcade), an empty lot and a former three-story building (the Torrence Building) that was reduced to a one-story structure with two store fronts. That past also included the closing of major stores - Montgomery Ward, Sears, Penney’s. That past is over. It can’t be changed. Those days are gone except in memory. We have our memories, though sometimes fuzzy. With all that had happened in Punxsutawney area history, there was always a future. Though a future is always uncertain, there is, in Punxsutawney, a history of new business developments that affected the downtown shopping experience. In the early 1970s, the Punx’y Plaza and its businesses were built to the west of the Punxsutawney downtown. In the late 1970s, the federal three-year program began for Punxsutawney’s Urban



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young person’s first hunting trip can be an incredible experience, sparking a lifelong love and appreciation for nature and wildlife. Parents who grew up hunting likely remember their first hunting trip and want to recreate that experience for their own children. As memorable as a first hunting trip can be, parents of current youngsters might not recall all the pre-trip preparation their own folks did to make that first hunting experience so memorable. Such preparation can ensure today’s youngsters enjoy the same magical experience their parents did when going hunting for the first time. • Make sure kids are ready. Kids’ maturity levels merit consideration before taking them hunting for the first time. Children may experience a range of emotions on their first hunting trips. Such emotions can include excitement, nervousness, sadness, and/or guilt. Parents should assess their children’s maturity levels prior to announcing a trip to make sure they’re ready for that emotional roller coaster. Kids mature at their own pace, so assess each child individually, resisting the temptation to assume one child is ready at a given age because an older sibling was ready at the same age. The American Forest Foundation recommends parents first take their youngsters along as hunting apprentices, which allows them to participate in the rituals of the hunt while their parents can gauge how mature they are to handle the hunt itself.

20 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

• Make sure kids can handle their guns. Wide Open Spaces, a website devoted to providing up-to-date information for hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts, notes the importance of kids knowing how to use their guns before they go hunting for the first time. Kids should know how to load and unload, check the chamber and turn the safety on and off. Kids should be confident with their guns, feeling comfortable enough to pull their firearms to their shoulders, get the gun’s sights on the animal and pull the trigger. • Temper youngsters’ expectations. Hunting is a rewarding hobby, but also one that requires a lot of work. Weather also can be unpleasant during hunting season, and that can quickly spoil youngsters’ impressions of hunting. Temper kids’ expectations in advance of a hunting trip so they know it won’t necessarily be all fun. In addition, let children know many hunting trips end without a kill. • Focus on the fun factor. The AFF notes that surveys indicate that young hunters are more excited to have fun and enjoy quality outdoor time than they are by the prospect of bagging and taking home a trophy animal. Parents should focus on the fun and the beauty of nature when taking youngsters hunting to ensure kids have as good a time as possible. Some pre-trip preparation on the part of moms and dads can make youngsters’ first hunting trips successful. •••

Punxsutawney’s Downtown Continued from page 19

Renewal and Redevelopment. In its first year, the “plaza strip” of businesses across from Barclay Square was demol-

the country. Without the past, there is no future. And, with Punxsutawney’s downtown, the bright spot in the midst of fires and demolition was the opening of The Arcade in May 1977 with its rows of small shops in the enclosed area built between West Mahoning Street and the municipal parking lot behind it. A stop in the Arcade became a popular, memorable shopping experience in the downtown.

The Future Becomes the Past Commercial growth developed outside the business district in Punxsutawney with the Punx’y Plaza and, a decade later, the Groundhog Plaza. Shopping at The Arcade of downtown Punxsutawney emerged as a new “wow” shopping The Arcade’s popularity for shopping began in 1977 as Punxexperience when local sutawney’s “indoor mall.” When shopping opportunities expanded to nearby shopping plazas, the Arcade’s history ended when the residents and visitors enbuilding was sold in 1977 at a county sheriff’s sale. (photo and ad- tered the doors on West vertisements copies from Punxsutawney Spirit) Mahoning Street to disished. Then came the Groundhog Plaza cover the new red brick walls and variin the mid-1980s. ety of small shops that cascaded to the Outside business interests moved into opposite doors on the south side at the the area. We have our memories of parking lot. Jamesway, Ames Department store, Mr. Through time, new stores were added to Donut, Chicken Charlies and Spudnut. In the variety of shopping opportunities and July 2002, Wal-Mart opened, affecting needs. In September 1982, the “Onethe business climate of Punxsutawney, Stop Audio Outlet” opened with audio just as it had with other small towns in equipment, CDs, records and tapes. In

December 1984, Hickory Farms opened eighth grade. The school enrollment inin The Arcade with a display of cheeses creased to 80 students. The expansion and cheese products for the holiday sea- led to the purchase of the Weber School son. Samples were available for a “taste Building on North Jefferson Street for a test.” permanent location in Punxsutawney. But the future (The building for The Arcade was built in became the past. 1915 as a “manIn 1997, when ual training and Eckerd Drug domestic science Store sought school.” It is repurchase agreemembered for its ments in Punxtime as the junsutawney’s ior high school’s downtown, a location for new owner of home economics the Arcade was classes and identified as the wood and metal first to agree to shops.) sell. In April The Arcade building (the former McCrory’s 5&10 and By the fall of 1999, the Ar- the Arcade shops) was donated to the Punxsutawney 1998, the future cade Building Christian School. The vacated building was remodeled of the PCS was transformed into its Junior-Senior High School. was sold at auc- and Photo shows one of the furnished classrooms of the to face enrolltion to collect school. (August 2000 - copy courtesy of George ment that grew unpaid taxes. “Butch” White) to include junior The property included the many shops of and senior high school students. To The Arcade and the three-story former maintain its goal of low student-teacher McCrory’s 5 & 10 building. ratio, its administrator sought another It was also in the summer of 1997 that building for its expansion. the Punxsutawney Christian School Led by a familiar saying in their minds opened for classes. After two years of and hearts, those in charge of the Punxstudy, planning and prayer, the faith- sutawney Christian School were led to based, private school began classes for the new owner of the Arcade Building, a grades kindergarten through sixth grade, business man from Sykesville. Learning leasing Sunday School classrooms of the about the planned purpose for the buildFirst Church of God. ing, the owner donated it to the school in Starting with 35 students in grades K- memory of his father. The leaders of the 6, a hopeful future was ahead for the new new school were able to express: “A litPunxsutawney Christian School. In Au- tle bit of faith goes a long way.” gust 1998, the school expanded its enTransforming the former Arcade Buildrollment to include kindergarten through - Continued on next page

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In the former Arcade shop area, the Shadow Chaser Cafe was created from furnishings of the earlier Feicht’s Drug Store and Ruth and Harry’s Restaurant. Its popularity provided a nostalgic atmosphere from the past in downtown Punxsutawney. (photos courtesy of George “Butch” White)

Punxsutawney’s Downtown Continued from previous page

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22 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

ing in Punxsutawney’s downtown into the Junior-Senior High School was a challenge, for the three-story building “had fallen into despair,” as expressed by George “Butch” White, school administrator. The timing was right. White, a Punxsutawney native, had retired from Purchase Line School District after 30 years of teaching and was available for volunteer service and to lead others to many opportunities ahead. With remodeling experience from the effort in preparing the former Weber School for its use in January 1999, a dedicated group of volunteers faced three stories of a building that had not been used for years, left with major repairs to be completed. There was a leaky roof to be repaired, soiled ceiling tiles to be removed and replaced, carpet to be removed, mildew everywhere to be cleared and windows opened wide to create approved air quality in classrooms for students and other activities. Rewiring of the building was a necessary improvement to repurpose it as a school. To begin the remodeling, the combined effort of many volunteers was given to the first floor. Office space, reception area, faculty lounge and restrooms were among the improvements. The reception area and offices were located off West Mahoning Street where had been the spacious George Brown Gift Shop of the Arcade. An all-purpose room for student programs, use as a chapel, exercise classes, etc. was added in the ground level space. Five classrooms were prepared, with a small resource library and computer lab, too. An area for a cafeteria was set up with booths and tables from a local restaurant. When snap-together wood flooring was donated, the third floor was reused as a gymnasium, with half-court basketball instituted for physical activities. In August 2000, the Junior-Senior High School of the Punxsutawney Christian School opened in the repurposed Arcade Building (McCrory’s 5&10 Building). By 2014, when the school enrollment stabilized and dwindled, the older students returned to the Weber School Building on North Jefferson School where it continues its purpose. Another Future for Arcade Building As it stands tall in the 100 West Mahoning Street block of buildings in downtown Punxsutawney, one building has withstood the test of time, major fires and different purposes that began in

the early 1900s. For most older readers, many memories from the past might include the McCrory’s 5&10, Feicht’s Drug Store, George Brown Gift Shop, the mini-shops of the The Arcade concept of an “indoor mall” in the business district, and as a junior-senior high school. In 2014, the former, and old, Arcade Building began another life in Punxsutawney. Replacing the words that once identified that portion of what was once Feicht’s Drug Store and The Arcade, was ASH, to recognize a new purpose of offering housing to IUP students, particularly students in the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts. With culinary classes in the school at South Gilpin Street since 1989 and the Fairman Center at 100 West Mahoning Street since 2007, the opportunity was possible to house students in the downtown. With business partners Dyrk Couser and Eric Amundson, White changed the story of the site, which is now its past. Classrooms of the former junior-senior high school were removed and spaces remodeled to become attractive apartments, suitable for students or other visitors to town. Offices spaces were opened up, too. Its new purpose was identified as Agape Student Housing (ASH). In the first floor brick-lined corridor that had been the shops of the Arcade, there was created the Shadow Chaser Cafe, using furnishing saved by White from the former Feicht’s Drug Store, Ruth and Harry’s Restaurant and McClaughlin’s Drug store. Joining the team was Nancy Finley who added a creative force by providing visual appeal to the decor of the cafe. The Arcade building also housed Lori Miller’s Custom Sewing and Tailoring Shop and Clint Reed’s Guitar Shop with private lessons. In the main building, with the apartments, was the office of the Chuck Daly Scholarship Program. In 2018, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) announced plans for the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney. The future for the culinary school included the buildings west of the Fairman Centre, already in use by the Academy of Culinary Arts. There is another story ahead to review the history of the building at West Mahoning at South Gilpin Street. To some readers it’s the J.C. Penney building, to others Miller’s Furniture Building. The history of the 100 West Mahoning Street block is what is. Then it will be the mystery of the future and the plans for the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney. •••

Hometown Community Happenings


rom the staff of Hometown magazine and the Community Calendar at Punxsutawney.com, here is a list of events coming up in our area: At press time, Coronavirus restrictions and mask requirements were changing. Please check with the host organization’s website or Facebook page for up-to-date information.  n Hometown Steelers Football contest winner: The Steelers beat the Broncos 27-19 on Sunday, October 10. The winner of Hometown Steelers football contest was Russ Bishop with a tie breaking total point score of 47.  Russ wishes to redeem his gift card at Fox's Pizza Den Punxsutawney location. Congratulations, Russ! Remember, you must play to win Hometown Steeler Football contest. Enter today.  n Anyone interested in entering a unit in the Home for the Holidays parade should call the Chamber of Commerce at 814-938-7700 or chamber@punxsutawney.com.  n Watch local media for leaf collection dates by Punxsutawney Borough.  n The Weather Discovery Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Contact the center for admission prices.  n Oct. 27: Crystal Introductions, 5:30 p.m. at Punxsutawney Memorial Library. Register on-line or call 814-938-5020.  n Oct. 28: PAHS Powder Puff football game, 6 p.m. at PAHS Stadium.  n Oct. 30: Halloween Parade & Trick or Treating. Parade at 6 p.m., line up at Arcade parking lot. Costume judging at Central Fire Hall after the parade. Trick or treating follows.  n Nov. 2: Election Day. Get out and vote!  n Nov. 3: Open Mic Night, 5 p.m. at The Salvation Army. For information, call 814938-5530.  n Nov. 5, 6 & 7: Old-Fashioned Country Christmas Open House in Smicksburg. Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  n Nov. 6: Bazaar, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grange Church of God.  n Nov. 7: Daylight Savings Time ends. Set your clocks back one hour.  n Nov. 11: Veterans Day. Honor those who have served the USA.  n Nov. 12: Blood Drive, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, Punxsutawney. Benefits the American Red Cross.

n Nov. 12, 13 & 14: Old-Fashioned Country Christmas Open House in Smicksburg. Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  n Nov. 20: SSCD Christmas Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SSCD auditorium - gifts, crafts, food and more.  n Nov. 20: Thanksgiving Dinner, 5 p.m. at The Salvation Army. Watch its Facebook page for more information.  n Nov. 23: Drive-Through Community Dinner, 5 to 6 p.m. at Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church. Enter the alley off East Mahoning St. beside the Pantall and drive toward Union St. Meals will be handed to the driver. The meal will include an entrée to be heated at home and a dessert.  n Nov. 25: Thanksgiving!  n Nov. 26: Black Friday, traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Shop local and visit the Hometown magazine advertisers.  n Nov. 27: Deer Season begins. Get your hunting gear at one of Hometown’s advertisers!  n Nov. 27: Home for the Holidays Parade, downtown Punxsutawney, in the evening, followed by the Tree Lighting at Barclay Square.  n Nov. 28: Hanukkah begins at sundown.  n Nov. 30: Giving Tuesday. Support your favorite charity.  n Dec. 1: Blood Drive, 12:30 to 6 p.m. at Punxsutawney VFW, Maple Ave. Benefits the American Red Cross. •••

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The managers and staff of the Hampton Avenue branch of S&T Bank in Punxsutawney recently held an open house to showcase renovations made to the building. According to Wendy Perry, branch manager, the improvements included adding square footage to the structure, allowing for an expanded amount of banking services for their customers. Present at the event were (from left) Jodi Presloid and John O’Berlin, regional managers; Heather Doney, business banker; Michelle Hall, personal banker; Wendy Perry, branch manager; Tonia Beck, assistant branch manager; and Joy Juliette, mortgage banker. Photo by Mary Roberts.



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Loretta S. Ostrowski, 83, of Punxsutawney passed away September 21, 2021  Loretta attended Saint Peter’s United Church of Christ. She was a 1956 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School. She was a former employee of Pramco Sports Wear and a custodian for the Punxsutawney Area School District working primarily at Mary A. Wilson. After retirement, she helped as an aid in schools and on school busses. Loretta was known as an excellent seamstress. She made clothing for numerous friends and family, as well as doll clothing. She enjoyed reading, watching soap operas, playing cards, bingo and spending time with her family.  She is survived by her daughter, Lisa (Michael) Bullers; three grandchildren, James (Stephanie) Bullers, Jordan Bullers, and Andrew Bullers; a greatgrandchild, Vincent Bullers, two sisters, Pansy Stiver and Violet Smith; a brotherin-law, Thomas Pearce; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Shields; a close niece, Cathy Krepp and family; and numerous nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her first husband, Jack Craft, second husband, David Ostrowski and parents, Lewis and Mary (Fisher) Shields, five sisters, Cecil Fetterman, Edna Smith, Hilda Lunger, Thelma Pearce, Lillie Pearce and four brothers, Russell, Billy, Lemuel and Grant Shields Sr. and an infant brother, Virgil. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Mechele Marie (Healey) Grenfell December 26, 1955 - September 29, 2021  Mechele was born in Bradford, PA. As a child, her family moved to Phoenix, AZ. She graduated from Sunny Slope High School in 1973. Shortly after graduation she met and later married her late husband, Nicholas Pirie Grenfell IV in 1976. She worked for American Express for three decades before retiring, then left the heat of Phoenix and moved to Punxsutawney to enjoy the snow. Mechele was fiercely independent. She enjoyed arts and crafts and was truly fond of holidays, especially Christmas. She will be missed by her friends and family. The family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff of the Punxsutawney Area Hospital and Mulberry Square care facility.  She is survived by her three children, Debbie Clements, Beth DeSelms and Nicholas Grenfell V, and by her seven grandchildren. She is survived by two sisters, Vickie Hoffman and Cheri Hobbs, two nephews, six nieces and 14 great-nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Shirley (Fullerton) Healey, husband, Nick, brother, Robert

24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

Healey and sister, Cindy Price. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Stephanie J. Bloxdorf of Mahaffey August 31, 1957 - September 28, 2021  She was born August 31, 1957, to Bruce A. and Barbara L. (Reighard) Bloxdorf in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Stephanie graduated from Tremper High School in Kenosha. After graduation, she was employed as a secretary at the VA hospital in Chicago. She later enlisted in the U.S. Navy before attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Bachelor of Nursing Degree. Stephanie was then commissioned as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force. She then worked at the Punxsutawney Area Hospital, before returning to the Air Force as a NICU nurse. After retiring from the Air Force, Stephanie returned to Mahaffey to enjoy her retirement. Stephanie loved the outdoors, gardening, drafting, traveling, kayaking, camping, reading and spending time with her family.  She is survived her parents, Bruce and Barbara (Reighard) Bloxdorf; two sisters, Kelly Williams and Sandra Bloxdorf; a brother, Brett (Suzy) Bloxdorf; nieces Aubrey Lee Bloxdorf and Sophia Rose Bloxdorf; nephews Tyler (Jess) Williams and Seth (Sarah) Williams; and an uncle, Rick (Carol) Bloxdorf. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Vinetta M. Davis of Punxsutawney June 5, 1926 - October 1, 2021  Vinetta was a member of the St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Punxsutawney. She served as a Sunday School superintendent and teacher. She was a member of the church consistory, choir, women’s guild and served as the shopper for the Clean ‘n’ Gleam Mission.  She was a graduate of Bellefonte High School. She worked for Titan Metals in Bellefonte to support the war efforts. She also worked for Agway in Punxsutawney and for Ted Swartz Men’s and Boy’s Shop.  Vinetta was family oriented, she devoted her life to serving and caring for others. She was focused, strong willed and highly organized. She enjoyed traveling the world, sewing, being a band parent and chaperoning band trips and other school activities. Vinetta and her husband Andrew were devoted lifelong Penn State Fans.  She is survived by her three children, son Lloyd “Dub” (Patty) Davis, daughter Rebecca “Becky” (Butch) Kunselman and daughter Emily (Mark) Overly; six grandchildren, Matthew Davis, Jenna

(Steve) Long, Autumn (Ryan) Hadbavny, Russell (Maria) Overly, Blair (Nikki) Overly and Lloyd (Kayla) Overly; four great-grandchildren, Addison and Leyton Overly and Archie and Cora Long; four nieces, Peggy Haney, Molly Malone, Tracy Dietrich and Sandy Corman; and a nephew, Ronald Malone.  In addition to her husband, Andrew A. Davis, and her parents, Olive Tate and Ralph E. Malone, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Richard T. Malone and Robert B. Malone. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Elaine Light, 99 passed away October 2, 2021  One of the nation’s first female sports reporters, she joined the Associated Press in her hometown of Pittsburgh after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1944. She covered the steel and coal industries as well as sports.  Though, as a woman, she was not allowed in the press boxes, Elaine often beat her male colleagues in breaking news, including a scoop about the nation’s first attempted Major League baseball strike.  She also covered events such as Groundhog Day, so she was familiar with the town when she was sent here in 1950 to cover a new film, “When Willie Comes Marching Home.” The film had misplaced Punxsutawney in West Virginia, and, to make amends, the producers arranged a Punxsutawney premiere. While in town, Elaine met local coal operator and champion dog breeder Sam Light. They were married in September 1950.  Two years later, Sam became president of the Groundhog Club. In 1958, she produced “Cooking with the Groundhog.” Ten years later, she wrote “Gourmets & Groundhogs.”  For years, she profiled the town’s many fascinating citizens in a newspaper column, “The Lighter Side.” As member of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, she was the architectural chair of the Mahoning East Civic Complex, which includes the police station, fire house, public library and the Groundhog Zoo.  She became a member of the Punxsutawney College Trust after it opened the Punxsutawney branch of Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1962 and eventually headed its board.  One of the last things Elaine did before moving to an assisted living residence in Washington, D.C., to be near her daughter Meredith, was to attend the dedication of the Culinary’s Fairman Centre with its baking facilities, dormitory space and the Sam and Elaine Light Culinary Library, to which she donated - Continued on next page

Continued from previous page

her collection of cookbooks signed by Julia Child and others.  Adored by her many friends and relatives, she is survived by two daughters, Melanie Light (Jeffrey Kevich) and Meredith Light (Enrique F. Pérez). Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Gilbert L. “Gom” Bowser of Punxsutawney August 27, 1951 - October 3, 2021  Gom was a 1969 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School. He retired after 35 years from Kriebel Well Services as a field production supervisor. Gom was a member of a few organizations, but he was most proud of being a founding member of Big Run Camp. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved spending time at Big Run Camp. Most of all, he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.  He is survived by his wife, Kathy L. (Hibner) Bowser; a son, Aaron (Abigail) Bowser; a daughter, Lauren (Andy) Vezza; two grandchildren, Emma and Ethan Vezza; two brothers, Ralph (Glenda) Bowser and Terry (Wanda) Bowser; a sister, Darlene (Bud) Aldridge; three brother-in-laws, Dee (Linda) Hibner, John (Kathy) Hibner and Ed Bowser; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his mother, Emma (Harris) Bowser, and a sister, Ellen Bowser. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Donna “Jane” States of Rochester Mills April 7, 1941 - October 6, 2021  Jane was a member of the Montgomery Church of the Brethren in Purchase Line. She also attended the Canoe Ridge Church of God. Jane was a 1959 graduate of Marion Center High School. She was the treasurer of Pine Cemetery for over thirty years. She and her husband were past members of the Groundhog Campers. She loved spending time with her family, who always requested her gob cakes.  She is survived by her husband, Ronald M. States; a son, Ronald (Yvonne) States; a daughter, Nancy Hartmann; three grandchildren, Luke (Ashley) States, Heather Hartmann and Anthony, Zack Hartmann; four great-grandchildren, Abbi, Ryeley, Kashen and Cully; two sisters, Sarah Clayton and Joann Getty; a brother, Donald E. King; two sisters-in-law, Lois Kay Miller and Donna Jean States; a brother-in-law, Darrel E. States; and numerous nieces

and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Glen E. and Lucille (Brillhart) King. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Alta Margie Bishop of Punxsutawney March 14, 1936 - October 7, 2021  Margie was the youngest of 10 children. She worked at Loree Footwear and then Ruth and Harry’s restaurant. Margie enjoyed spending time with her family and especially her grandchildren.  She is survived by a daughter, Terri (Lunger) Plyler and fiancé Bob Kennedy; two grandchildren, Ryan Plyler and Natisha Plyler and fiancé Ben Kindya; one great-granddaughter, Hazel Alta Kindya; two stepdaughters; two step-grandchildren; and two step-greatgrandchildren. She was close to several nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Alice (Stoops) Lunger, husband, George Bishop, two sisters, infant Mary Alice Lunger and Gladys Spencer, seven brothers, Paul, Charles, Leroy, Claire, Ralph, Norman and Donald Lunger. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Robert M. “Rosey” Means of Valier February 17, 1940 - October 7, 2021  Bob was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and attended the Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church.  He was a Punxsutawney Area High School graduate and enjoyed farming and working. He was the owner and operator of R.M. Means Garage Doors for around forty-two years.  Bob was a lifetime member of the John W. Jenks Lodge #534, lifetime member of the B.P.O.E Lodge of Punxsutawney, a fifty-year member of the Jaffa Shrine and a member of the Lindsey Fire Co.  In addition to his wife, Janice (Williams) Means, he is survived by three daughters, Cheryl Hollis, Rhonda (Doug) Swan and Jenifer (Scott) Kopnitsky; five grandchildren, Laybn (Kayla) Hollis, Karah Hollis, Sydney and Gage Kopnitsky and Evan Swan; two sisters, Carole (Ken) Leonhardt and Ruth Ann Vanderhoof; a brother, Richard Means and wife Brenda; and several nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents, Caroline (Smith) and Forrest Means, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law, James L. Hollis and a sister, Jane Chandler. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u John W. Fairman of Walston May 5, 1933 - October 10, 2021  He was a veteran of the Korean War,

serving with the United States Army.  John was a member of Saints Cosmas and Damian Catholic Church. He was a 1951 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School. After serving with the Army, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a degree in Pharmacy. After graduating, he worked at the DuBois Hospital then at the Punxsutawney Area Hospital for over 20 years, where he retired. He was a member of the Walston Club and Punxsutawney Eagles. John liked gardening, crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. His family was his first priority, and he loved spending time with them.  He is survived by, two sisters, Rose Day and Julie Farcus; two nephews, Robert Day and Tim (Tina) Day; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary (Barone) Fairman. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Edward Kelsey Elling of Mahaffey October 28, 1951 - October 12, 2021 He was born to Edward E. and Louise (Campbell) Elling in Punxsutawney.  Ed was a graduate of Purchase Line High School. He was currently serving as a Bell Township Supervisor. Ed was a mechanic, drove coal truck, owned Elling Logging, operated heavy equipment and, most recently, drove water truck for Huey Brothers. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, working on tractors and spending time with his family.  He is survived by his wife, Debra A. (Seger) Elling; two daughters, Rhonda (Bill) Heverley and Becca “Bub” (Mike) Rummel; six grandchildren, Michael “My Boy” Rummel, Tyler Heverley, Makenna “Boog” Rummel, Kelsey Heverley, Lizzie “Wooee” Heverley, Ryan Heverley; a sister, Debbie (Bob) Cessna; a “special caring, funny, go-to brother,” Kevin L. (Leesa) Elling; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward E. and Louise (Campbell) Elling. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Please visit the website of the funeral homes listed to view complete obituary, sign their guestbook, plant a tree and offer your condolences. u If you have a loved one who has passed away and would like to publish it in Hometown Magazine, please contact us at hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com or call 814-952-3668. uuu


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26 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

The coal is being loaded into cars at the tipple of Eleanora Mine. The coal would then be taken down the Eleanora Branch Rail Road to Big Run. At Big Run, the coal cars would be formed into longer trains and hauled to Rochester and Buffalo, New York. Photo Courtesy of PAHGS.

A Home for the Robertson Family

By Coal Memorial Committee for Hometown magazine aving a home of his own was the dream of John Robertson, a young man who lived in Lark Hall, Lanarkshire, located southeast of Glasgow, Scotland. Lark Hall was an assemblage of villages, hamlets, rows of houses and isolated dwellings which surrounded the collieries located in the area. There was little or no chance of a workman’s owning his own home in Lark Hall. The main industries were mining and weaving textiles. The men of Lark Hall were employed primarily in the collieries or at the ironworks; women and children were employed as bleachers and handloom weavers by Glasgow textile manufacturers. John Robertson saw the opportunity to improve his life, and those of his children, by coming to America. He emigrated from Scotland in 1883 and found employment in southwestern Pennsylvania where the coal, coke and iron industry was rapidly expanding and skilled miners were in demand. It took three years for him to save enough money to send for his family. In 1886, his family consisting of his wife, Margaret, and children, George B., John A., Jane, and James, arrived in America. George B. Robertson was nine years old when he began working in the coal mines, an occupation he would follow for the rest of his life. In 1889 the Rochester and Pittsburg Coal and Iron Company was opening its third mine in Jefferson County. The mine, named Eleanora, in honor of Mrs. Adrian Iselin, was opened in September 1889 as a drift mine. The mine property was laid out by Walter F. Arms, the opening of the drift was under the management of Samuel A. Rinn, and the construction of the first 41 of the miner’s houses was by contractor A.J. Beck. Experienced miners were recruited to come to work at the mine. The Robertson Family’s oral history told of the family’s moving into an unfinished miners’ double house at Eleanora on February 1, 1890. At this time, the family included all those who came from Scotland and two American born children, Robert and Anna. An article in the April 16, 1890 issue of The Punxsutawney Spirit announced, “A GIGANTIC COAL DEAL” and told that the controlling interest in the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railway and the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Coal and Iron Company had been purchased by the Bell Lewis & Yates Mining Company. The


following week, on April 23, 1890, The Spirit carried an article which addressed some of the changes Bell, Lewis & Yates were making as they expanded operation of the mines. One change was in the way housing for miners would be provided. “Bell, Lewis & Yates are not in favor of mining towns—that is, building a lot of houses of their own and renting them to their employees. The article stated the company believed in working men having homes of their own instead of paying rent, and it is possible that they will sell the houses at Walston, Adrian and Eleanora to their workmen on the installment plan. By making them owners of houses they attach them to the place and to their interests, and this tie of home and self-interest is a very strong one—much better for the company than the menace of wholesale eviction.” Although the sentiment in this position was well intentioned, in practice it did not work. By 1892, the Company had returned to building houses in mine towns. The October 17, 1892 issue of the Punxsutawney News reported: “A number of new houses are to be built at Eleanora this fall. A.J. Beck has received the contract for building them.” John Robertson and his sons, George, age 15, and John A., age 14, worked at the mines. Like many miners, they found it challenging to make house payments and meet the family’s needs. Their dream of owning their own home evolved into something more. In 1896, John Robertson purchased ten acres of land in Henderson Township from James and Sarah Malone. They built their first house on the land which became the Robertson’s farm. The farm enabled them to support themselves when work was not available at the mines. They were also able to sell produce, milk and butter to supplement their income. The farm gave the family the freedom to choose where they would work. The mines and the town at Eleanora continued to grow. In 1899 J.J. Hieges, from Brockway received a contract to build additional houses for miners at Eleanora. When George B., the eldest son, married Alvaretta Rutter in 1900, John Robertson deeded him an acre of ground, on the farm, on which he built his own house. George continued to work in the mines the rest of his life. The second son, John A. Robertson, moved to Armstrong County to work in the new mines the R. & P. C. & I. Company - Continued on page 28

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The Ghosts of Halloween Past and Present By Mary Ellen Pollock-Raneri for Hometown magazine he Ghost of Halloween Pumpkins Past: When I was a kid, we carved out real pumpkins. I can still see my mom lining the kitchen table with newspaper. We didn’t have a special orange plastic carving set either. We had Grandpa’s big steel butcher knife that he made with his own hands, and I prayed to God that I would keep my hands when using that sharp tool. I can still remember the process: First, cut out the lid. Then, scoop out the guck and the seeds. My job was removing the stringy fibers and pulp so Mom could toast up the seeds on a cookie sheet. Then, I got to carve out the eyes and mouth. Typically, I tried to cut out some goofy teeth; I ended up accidentally sawing off one or two of them. When we were done with our masterpiece, Mom always dripped a little candle wax inside it for a base and lit the wick. I remember checking that candle several times in the evening to make sure that the flame still flickered outside in the cool autumn breeze. That jack-o-lantern was perched on the flower box on the front porch for all to admire. It lasted for days until its withered face was retired to the trash.


The Ghost of Halloween Pumpkins Present: Sadly, many folks resort to wood, plastic, ceramic, resin or even blow-up pumpkins these days. I guess you can keep them from year to year, so, they are possibly a money saver. Sure, you don’t have to worry about the candle blowing out because the pumpkins have a light bulb inside, and you just plug them into an outlet. The eyes and the mouth are usually carved perfectly. The shapes of the pumpkins are equally flawless. Plus, they never wrinkle up or cave in. You can buy them in all sorts of colors – white, green, pink, blue and even the old-time orange. Sometimes the newfangled decorations have faces that protrude rather than being carved into the plastic. Other times, they have silhouettes of witches on a broom or the outline of a bat. Now, I know these fellas are cleaner, cheaper and mostly picture-perfect creatures. Me, I miss the good old days. I couldn’t have said it better than the poet John Greenleaf Whittier who wrote the


poem “The Pumpkin,” around 1850. Oh! —fruit loved of boyhood! —the old days recalling, When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling! When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin, Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!

The Ghost of Halloween Candy Bars Past: Way back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, candy bars seemed GIGANTIC, and it was okay to give a kid a pack of candy cigarettes so they could pretend to puff on them like a glamorous movie star. I remember my stash of Clark Bars, Nestle Crunch Bars, Reese’s Cups, Mallow Cups, Black Cows, Tootsie Rolls, O’Henry bars and Turkish Taffy. Each one seemed the size of my arm! Of course, I was only six years old and wore glasses, so what did I know? At any rate, most of us kids staked out the houses that gave out the best treats. We kids avoided the Apple and Orange and Quarter People. Regrettably, we also avoided the “PopcornBall-by-Mom” homes, although my own mother was in that dreaded popcorn ball club. The Ghost of Halloween Candy Present: Sometimes when I go in a big box store and see some of the cartons of Halloween treats, I want to fling myself on the floor and weep. Pretzels? Snack crackers? Chips? Modeling clay? (I shudder, and I’m not even to raisins yet). How’s a kid supposed to get that timeless sugar overload that we all knew and loved? We have completely pulled off the sugary sheets of the past Halloween ghosts and made Halloween (gasp) healthy. Furthermore, Halloween candy revolves around a new word, a completely remodeled word that describes most of the candy that is distributed on Trick or Treat night: The Fun Size. I guess it’s the most fun you can have in one bite because that’s about what you get. I know. I know. We need to cut back on sugary treats; I completely get it. Hey! I’m having some fun here going down Spooky Memory Lane, so, please indulge me. The Ghost of Halloween Pranks Past: corning and soaping and toilet papering, oh my! I can still see the yards of toilet paper as it floated from the bare limbs of trees in many yards. Sometimes, kids used eggs, too, but that was the height of Halloween prankdom and was reserved for only a few - Continued on page 30



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Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253 – 27

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Get your FREE copy today! To advertise in the magazine or on our full color placemats email hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com text or call Mary Roberts at 814-952-3668 or call Tracey Young at 814-938-9084. Monthly issues of locally owned Hometown Magazine celebrate the best of our town with feature articles, history, and around town calendars.

Hometown Classified Ads! HELP WANTED: TEMPORARY OUTSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVE One of the most reputable businesses in the area is looking for a person who would be willing to sell special projects.  If you have the drive to be motivated, work from home, and want some extra income this is the position for you. Apply today. Respond by email to hometown@ punxsutawneymagazine.com. Reference #22. OFFICE HELPER for individual who wishes to learn all aspects of print and online publication. Responsibilities to include invoicing and sending emails. Respond by email to hometown@ punxsutawneymagazine.com. Reference #12. OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENT WORKER who wishes to learn all aspects of marketing for a print and online publication. Interests should include advertising, writing and communications. Respond by email to hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com. Reference #12. WE BUY LAND Extra Acreage? Need Cash? Call 814-952-8425.

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The original 41 housing units in the town around Eleanora Mine were built in 1889 and 1890. Additional housing was added in 1892 and 1899. Eleanora was, at one time, the largest town in McCalmont Township, Jefferson County. Photo courtesy of PAHGS.

A Home for the Continued from page 26 was opening. In 1903, John Robertson moved to Kaylor, Armstrong County. His wife and two youngest children moved with him. During his absence, his eldest son George had responsibility for the Robertson Farm. George’s family, which was rapidly grow-

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28 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

John Vernon Robertson (left) was the first child of George B. Robertson and the first grandchild of John Robertson. He is pictured here with his aunt Margaret Ruth Coxson. Vernon was the first of the fifteen children born to George B. and Alvaretta Rutter Robertson. In 1915, at age 15, he began to work in the coal mines. In 1923, he became a mail carrier with the United States Post Office, a job which he held until he retired. Photo courtesy of S.J. Sharp

ing and needing additional space, moved into the larger Robertson house. James, the third son, also worked in the mines at Eleanora. In 1905, a lethal explosion occurred which killed thirteen workers. James, who had turned 21, left coal mining and found work in the developing oil industry in McKean County. In 1907, John Robertson returned to Eleanora where his fourth son, Robert, age 15, joined his father in working at the mines at Eleanora. They rented a house in the town where John, Margaret, Robert, Anna and a niece Agnes lived. The George Robertson family continued to live on the farm. George and Alvaretta Robertson had fifteen children, eleven survived to adulthood. Four of their sons became miners before moving to other occupations. George’s eldest son, J. Vernon, was 15 years old when he first worked

with his father at the Wishaw #1 Mine. Vernon, in a memoir, described the experience: “At that time the Wishaw mine was a pick and shovel operation. The coal seam there was about 3½ feet high. We worked in underground rooms where we would undercut the coal, then drill auger holes for blasting the coal down. Dad would make a tube for the powder using a sheet of newspaper rolled over a broomstick. He would fill the tube with black powder and, using a cooper needle, push it to the back of the auger hole. We mixed mud and fine coal to pack around the needle. Dad used a tamping bar to withdraw the needle and inserted a squibb into the needle hole. When all was ready Dad would light the squibb and yell, “Fire.” We would run around the corner until the powder exploded and brought down the coal. Then we would push in a mine car and shovel the coal into it. We furnished all their tools and powder and received $1.14 per ton.” Vernon would eventually become a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service. Arthur, the second son, and Thomas, the third, went to the mines after completing the mandatory eight grades of schooling. At that time the Robertson men were working in the Eleanora Mine where the coal seam was 8 to 9 feet high and there were mules so they didn’t need to push the cars. They entered the mine by walking down 175 steps which wound around the air shaft. And, after a long day of work, they had to climb back up the same steps. These two Robertson sons operated successful farms in their later years. In 1922, their fourth child, George H. Robinson, was the first of the family to graduate from high school. He secured a job with Wilson and Company, a meat wholesale company, where he became an area manager. In 1923, George B. Robertson purchased a farm with a large house, near DuBois, and moved his family there. That same year, George’s brother Robert Robertson and his sister Annabelle Wylie, who were both widowed with children, returned to the original John Robertson Farm. Robert continued to work as a miner and Anna cared for their children. The John Robertson family farm continues to this day in the Robertson Family. George Robertson’s family continued to improve their status in life. His fifth son, James Robertson, first worked with the B.R. & P. Railroad shops in DuBois, then the Pennsylvania Railroad and later with the Republic Light, Heat and Power Company where he retired as a supervisor. - Continued on next page

(“From Our Past,” researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers. October 13, 1870 — With our newspaper, we have been permitted to visit several points in this and the adjoining county. Some jottings by the way may prove interesting to our readers. On coming in sight of the ancient village of Davidsville, we’re struck by the ravages of time, or some other element, upon this agriculture centre [sic]. It is but a few years since it was one of the attractive features of northern Indiana county. But a change has been wrought. Instead of the flourishing hotel of other days is a tenantless, cold-looking building at the corner of the street with a sign-board creaking out a requiem for a departed greatness; other things we found were in keeping with the hotel, and altogether the prospect was one to engender intermittent chills, especially on a cold day. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer) [Note: Davidsville is now known as Trade City. It was laid out as a town in 1852 by David Mutersbaugh. Thus, it’s original name was Davidsville. It was later changed to Trade City because its location was considered a good one in the area for farmers to trade their goods. It never developed into a “city.”] October 28, 1885 — We would call the attention of the people at Walston Mines and vicinity, that Richard Jehu keeps a fine line

of fresh oysters, fish, candies, tobaccos and cigars. (Valley News) October 30, 1895 — W.H. Hile, Dr. Hamilton and Will McAllister, all mighty hunters, have gone to northern Maine to hunt moose, bear, and other larger game. They expect to be absent two or three weeks. A moose is a large animal, and as they cannot consume more than one or two each themselves, they will supply the market in this neighborhood. Persons having a fondness for that sort of meat will therefore be supplied at reasonable rates. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) November 1, 1899 — Home newspapers are largely responsible for the unsportsman like conduct of their baseball cubs and football teams. They are led, through local pride and prejudice, to take a one-sided view of the matter, and thus become blind to the cussedness of their own players, while they view the faults of the adversaries with a powerful magnifying glass. But such is humanity, and so it is likely to remain. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) November 2, 1906 — Big Run area residents are reminded to stop at Melvin O. Gray’s shop to have their sleighs and sleds painted for winter and have their buggies and carriages painted for spring. The shop is across from the post office. (Big Run Tribune) November 19, 1868 — Oysters! OYSTERS! McClain & Harbison have opened their Oyster Saloon, corner of Mahoning and Jefferson streets. Not only do they have fresh oysters, they keep constantly on hand, Confections, Nuts, Cigars, and more. Remember the place, opposite the Jennings House. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer) [Note: The Jennings House in 1868 was located on Mahoning St. where the Pantall Hotel is located currently.] •••

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A Home for the Continued from previous page Harry Robertson graduated from Sandy High School in 1927 and from Grove City College in 1930. He taught at Sandy High School, served in the Air Force during World War II and returned to become the principal at Sandy High School before retiring. Anna Margaret Robertson, the first daughter and seventh child of George Robertson, graduated from Sandy High School in 1929, and worked in private employment until she married Robert Moore in 1937. Olive Robertson, the second daughter and eighth child, graduated from Sandy High School in 1930, and had aspirations to become a nurse, which she fulfilled in later life after working at the DuBois Meter Works and at Bell Aircraft in Buffalo during World War II. Wilbur Robertson, the ninth child, worked with his dad and brother Tom in the mines, before taking a job with Jeffers Electronics in DuBois. David Robertson, the tenth child, attended Indiana Teachers College after graduating from Sandy High School. His first teaching job was in a one-room school at Ligonier where he taught eight grades. He continued his education, eventually receiving a Master of Education degree from Penn State. His final position was as a supervising principal at New Cumberland, PA. Two children died young: Elsie Lorraine, number eleven, died at age 3 of whooping cough, and Arnold, number twelve, died at age 6 months during the influenza epidemic in 1919. The thirteenth child was Roberta Robertson, who graduated from Sandy High School in 1937 and

attended Penn State University. She taught in the DuBois Public Schools and the Lancaster, New York Schools before returning to the George Robertson family farm near DuBois. Alice, the fourteenth and Grace, the fifteenth children, died as infants. John Robertson left Lark Hall, Lanarkshire, located southeast of Glasgow, Scotland, with a desire for a better life and to own his home. He was able to own his home, and the children of his son George B. Robertson, first-generation Americans, moved from coal mining to careers in management and education. In some ways the philosophy of a working man’s owning his own home, as put forth by the Bell, Lewis and Yates Mining Company held true. The Robertson family had and still has a strong affinity for their home place. This article has been prepared by the Coal Memorial Committee of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. Resources used in preparing this article are from PAHGS, The Punxsutawney Spirit, and Newspapers.com. Comments may be directed to PAHGS, P.O. Box 286, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Individuals desiring to honor a coal or coal industry related worker in 2022 are encouraged to purchase their tile by June 30, 2022. A Coal Memorial tile may honor persons who worked in any aspect of the coal industry including railroads and ancillary services. Additional information and from may be found online at www.punxsyhistory.org , or may be requested by email to: punxsyhistory@outlook.com, or calling 814-938-2555 and leave a message. •••

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The Ghost of Halloween Pranks Present: To tell you the truth, we don’t hear (or see) much corning these days. Plus, it’s been years since I’ve seen a yard decorated with toilet paper. Heck! Sometimes, it’s hard enough to find it at the stores! Occasionally, I have seen a stray egg or a smashed pumpkin in the streets. Admittedly, I miss waking up and seeing toilet paper strung in the trees and abandoned corn kernels on the pavement. Of course, most people might think that this Halloween hijinx is a nuisance. I’m not denying that opinion. Nowadays, I rarely see the traditional pranks in my neighborhood, and I sometimes long for the days of the old seasonal tomfoolery. I can’t help it – I get a warm fuzzy feeling if I see a few scattered kernels of dried corn on the street, kernels strewn there by some mischievous youth who are keeping up with the pesky tradition of “corning.” The Ghost of Halloween Costumes Past My husband recalls his positively politically incorrect costume - an old bum. It was his go-to outfit. His dad burned a bottle cork and used it to decorate his face with whiskers. Then, he dressed in some beat-up jacket and hat that his father discarded, and he put a red bandana on a pole. Me, I remember NEVER getting a store-bought costume. My mom made mine. I think the local five-and-ten cent store sold costumes, and I always wanted her to buy one for me, but she wouldn’t. Mom designed her own. She sewed me a kimono, a clown outfit, a farm girl outfit (complete with braids made from old stockings), a wizard and a witch.

The Ghost of Halloween Costumes Present: Enter all the bells and whistles you can ever imagine. Nowadays, kids are dressed in costumes that are equipped with the smallest details, even blow-up muscles inside the costume. Fueled by superhero movies, new developments in LED lighting and plastics, today’s kids can trick or treat in costumes that I would have traded my whole Barbie collection for! There are WHOLE stores filled with Halloween costumes in every size and genre. Plus, you can accessorize as much as your wallet (or your parents’ wallets) will permit. Chains, mallets, spears, swords, magic wands, axes and lightsabers abound. All you need is the cash, and you can look like you just flew in on the Millennium Falcon. The Ghost of Halloween Night Past: Way back in the day it seemed like every night from the middle of October was Halloween night. You could get all dressed up and trick or treat when you wanted. I remember begging my dad to walk me down the road to a few neighboring houses because I wanted to show off the new farm girl outfit that my mom made for me. I think he took me around the 24th of October. Folks just never knew when the doorbell would ring and a few ghosts and goblins would be standing there, ready for the ceremonial guessing game. We always invited them inside, and my mom was generally prepared with some tasty treats for our Halloween guests. The Ghost of Halloween Night Present: Nowadays, Trick or Treat night is proclaimed by local officials in September or October in my neighborhood, and there is a set time, too – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. We also have firetrucks and police who patrol the streets. Lots of parents are out there, too. All in all, I think it’s a safe approach to the holiday and applaud all the precautions. Yes, I remember that the closest thing we had to safety were the flashlights we carried. Happily, though, even after drinking out of water hoses, no seat belts, running barefoot in clover, riding two people on a bike, jumping on my neighbors’ trampoline without a net and trick or treating with only my friends at 9 p.m. on a dark night some of us still made it to 2021. •••

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Continued from page 27 special occasions, or shall I say special houses. Plus, parents would miss the eggs from their spot in the fridge. Truly, eggs presented a terrible cleanup, as did soaping windows. I remember my dad spewing a few creative four-letter-word combinations as he stood on the ladder in front of our picture window and scrubbed off the soap designs from a few Halloween artists. Corning was a different ballgame. It was almost scary when you heard the startling racket of the dried kernels on the windows. Frightened, I would peek out through the curtains only to see the silhouettes of some local teens running up the hill. My mom, on the other hand, who had no fear whatsoever, grabbed her trusty broom and went after the perpetrators. I don’t think she ever caught anyone, but it sure was fun so see the whole spectacle. In the morning, damp kernels lay scattered on the front porch and sidewalks, a fond memory of the shenanigans the night before.

She made the hat, too, out of cardboard. The only mask I can remember owning was one of those creepy see-through plastic masks with the cut-out eyes and a red slit for the mouth. Also, I had a plastic Scottish girl mask. It had a little plaid plastic beret that was part of the mask. (Typically, you held your plastic mask on your head by the elastic string that was attached to the sides of the mask by staples.)

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Remember: Masks are required for attendance! 30 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253

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1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 1:00 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 8:15 pm 1:00 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 8:15 pm 1:00 pm

1. Complete the coupon on this page. 2. Guess the winning team and the total number of points you think will be scored in the Steelers vs. Bears Game and enter the guesses in the spaces provided on the coupon. 3. Enter one of the participating advertisers on this page in the space provided to redeem your coupon should you be the contest winner. 4. Clip and forward the coupon to:‘Steelers Football Contest,’ c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. PLEASE MARK YOUR TEAM PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER ENVELOPE. 5. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Thur., Nov. 11 6. No purchase necessary to participate. All entries must be original magazine coupon (no photocopies). 7. In the event two or more contestants correctly pick the winning team and total number of points, one winner will be randomly selected and awarded the winning prize. In event two or more contestants tie for closest to the total score, one winner will be randomly selected to win the $20 certificate. Each issue we will give one $20 certificate. 8. Hometown magazine retains the right to make any final decisions regarding the contest, and by submitting an entry, contestants agree to abide by the rules of the contest.

Hometown magazine ‘Steelers Football Contest’: Complete, Clip, Drop off or Mail to: Steelers Football Contest c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767

TO QUALIFY FOR Name __________________________________ CONTEST YOU THE ST MARK YOUR TEAMU Address ________________________________ M PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON OU TSIDE OF ETHE Zip __________________________________ ENVELOPE. ON THON E ENTRY PER ENVLY ELOPE. Phone ________________________________

Coupon for Game of Sun., Nov. 14 Step 1: Guess the Winning Team: __ Steelers vs. __ Bears Step 2: Guess the Total Points that will be Scored in that Game: _______ Total Points Step 3: Should I win, I would like to redeem my merchandise certificate at: (List business from this page) _____________________

Everything Under Foot

Total Discount Foods


Fresh Bakery, Deli & Fruits We Sell Only U.S.D.A. Choice Beef, Pork, Lamb and Veal




Sun., Nov 14 • 1 p.m.

Jim Stellabuto’s

Groundhog Plaza, Punx’y

Indiana Street, Punx’y

Steelers vs. Bears



Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sat. 7:30 a.m. - Noon

*Some weeks may be subject to “Flexible Scheduling”


(Next to Dairy Queen)


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Starting Oct. 1st Mon. & Tues 4 pm to 2 am; Kitchen 4 to 9 pm Wed. - Sun. 11 am to 2 am; Kitchen 11 am to 9 pm



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CARULLI AUTO SALES & SERVICE Let us take care of your vehicle We offer a full line of

Auto Repairs


CRW Home Center

www.crw.doitbest.com Mon. - Fri. 7-5:30; Sat. 7-2

313 Martha St. Punxsutawney



FLOORING WAREHOUSE Waterproof Vinyl Flooring -............................ From .59¢ sq.ft. Waterproof Click Flooring - ........ $1.99 sq.ft. – $3.99 sq.ft. Carpet - Many Styles ....................................... From .79¢ sq.ft. Remnants - BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! Outdoor Carpet - .............................................. From .99¢ sq.ft.

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(all the components you need to build your custom shower in stock)

Call for Free Estimates • 814-371-9432 930 Beaver Drive • Beaver Grove • DuBois, PA 15801 Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253 – 31



NOVEMBER OVEMBER 11, 2021 Providing Families the Best Care at Their Worst Time

McCabe Waldron

FUNERAL HOME INC. Andrew R. Philliber, Supervisor / Funeral Director 114 Maple Ave., Punxsutawney


FUNERAL HOME Lisa J. Waldron, Supervisor Andrew R. Philliber, Funeral Director 831 Market Street, Mahaffey


www.mccabewaldronfh.com 32 – Punxsutawney Hometown – November 2021 - Issue #253