Tioga County: A Last Frontier

Fallbrook, Hoytville, Landrus and Leetonia are names that evoke memories of the past for some Tiogans, while for others, build­ings or a place on a map serve as re­minders of what has been. These names are evidence of the establish­ment, growth and demise of economic centers – coal mines, lumber mills and tanneries – important in Tioga County’s past. Today, these enterprises...
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Uniontown’s Prince of the Gilded Age

Nothing captures the attention of the press more than a good scandal. In Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in January 1915, it had one. The financial collapse of coal baron Josiah V. Thompson, and the ruin of his bank, summoned a reporter from the New York Tribune to the Fayette County seat. Stepping off at the Pennsyl­vania Railroad station, the unidentified reporter hurried to Thompson’s office...
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To Organize the Unorganized

The year 1919 was marked by an explosion of activity in the American labor movement. Discontent surged among industrial workers as promises of wage increases and improved working conditions, made by employers during World War One, failed to materialize. Telegraph operators, theater ushers and textile workers joined firemen, policemen and dock workers to oppose some of the country’s most...
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Centre County

Centre County, as its name implies, geographically is Pennsylvania’s central county. The first known residents to inhabit its lands were the Munsee and Shawnee Indians from the Delaware River. Before 1725 these Indians began to move westward, first to the Susquehanna, later to the Ohio. The Iroquois, who claimed the Susquehanna country, assigned one of their chiefs – a man best known...
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A Salute to the Bicentennial of the Keystone State

The current Bicentennial celebration commemorates not the birth of the United States, but the proclama­tion of thirteen British-American colonies that were “free and independent states” as of July 4, 17.76. When they formed a loose compact in 1761, their articles of confederation declared that “each state retains its sover­eignty, freedom and independence.” The...
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The Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania

With some conspicuous exceptions, Pennsylvania was W largely on the outskirts of the scenes of Revolutionary War military operations. True, in December, 1776, Gen. George Washington brought the remnants of his retreating army from New Jersey into Pennsylvania, using the area in the vicinity of McKonkey’s Ferry as the jumping-off point for the Christmas-night crossing of the Delaware and...
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Ernest: Life in a Mining Town

In 1904, the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company began deep mining in Ernest, Pennsylvania. In 1965, the industry there came to an end. Between these two dates, people lived out their lives in this small community northwest of Indiana, where for over sixty years every facet of existence revolved around the digging of coal from the hillsides surrounding the town. But what was life like in a...
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That Magnificent Fight for Unionism: The Somerset County Strike of 1922

During 1920 and 1921, western Pennsylvania’s coal mine operators campaigned vigorously to slash wages of the miners they employed. Because demand for coal declined after World War One the operators were forced to reduce production, resulting in stack, or in some cases, the complete shutdown of operations. Many miners drifted to factory jobs in nearby cities, or simply clung to hope -and...
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“Dapper Dan” Flood, Pennsylvania’s Legendary Congressman

During the early morning hours of Friday, June 23, 1972, U. S. Representative Daniel J. Flood sat work­ing in his Washington apartment when news of the devastation in his congressional district in northeast­ern Pennsylvania reached him. Rains of tropical storm Agnes had caused the Susquehanna River to rise forty feet. Water was pouring over the dikes protecting the twenty-two communities...
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Letters to the Editor

Coke and Coal “A Jewel in the Crown of Old King Coal: Eckley Miners’ Village,” an article by Tony Wesolowsky in the winter 1996 edition, prominently mentions John Leisenring. In 1880, Leisenring, as head of the Connellsville Coke and Iron Company, began construction of Leisenring Number 1 Works, followed by Leisenring Number 2 (Bute), and Leisenring Number 3 (Monarch) on...
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