J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, Huntingdon, Pa.

“Son arrived this eve 730.” I. John Schipper, born in 1878 in Pekin, Illinois, wrote to a Mrs. F.L. Velde, also of Pekin, on July 5 in the early 1920s – the year is unreadable in the postmark. “Edith is doing fine,” he continued. “In this hospital Room marked X. Tell all my friends please.” Schipper, a resident of Six Mile Run, Huntingdon County, at the time, was manager of mines for the...
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A Dynasty Tumbles

The saga begins and ends with two com­monplace scenes: a teenaged immigrant alighting a ship in colonial Philadelphia with but two letters of introduction and three guineas to his name, and a gravesite ringed by a half­-dozen black-clothed mourn­ers. But during the century and a half that encapsulates these vignettes, a Pennsylva­nia dynasty rose and fell- and rose and fell again. From Robert...
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Huntingdon County: Molding Character and Countians

When Philadelphia land speculator William Smith laid out the town of Huntingdon in 1767, it is possible that even then he saw its potential as a county seat. On the one hand, the idea seems preposterous: the area surrounding his prospective town was a wilderness accessi­ble only by a scanty network of undeveloped Indian paths. This unsettled part of Pennsyl­vania had been included in a vast...
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Portrait of Valentine Blanchard

Upon graduating from Lancaster’s Franklin and Marshall College in 1900, Worth B. Stottlemyer settled in Arling­ton, Virginia, where he prospered in the insurance and real estate businesses. An insatiable collector, he amassed a cache of antiques and works of art, intending to open an antiques shop in Frederick, Maryland, upon retiring. While building his enormous collection, Stottle­myer...
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Trainloads of Goodwill and Gratitude

Pittsburghers, on the evening of Saturday, November 15, 1947, witnessed a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) Station that marked the beginning of an extraordinary occurrence: the journey of a Friendship Train across the Keystone State. By the time it reached Philadelphia, three days and seven stops later, the train hauled an additional fifty-one cavernous boxcars packed to capacity with...
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