Friday, August 20, 2010


Pottsville Republican Headlines

Here is an interesting story from 1934..actually the case was pretty famous and made national news.

Pottsville Republican March 19, 1934

Mrs. Susan Mummey, 64, of Ferndale, near Ringtown was shot and killed at her home early Saturday evening by an assailant who fired a shotgun at her through a first floor window.
The murder was not reported until daylight Sunday morning when her adopted daughter “Totty” and a boarder Jacob Rice telephoned for a Ringtown doctor who in turn notified the Tamaqua detail of the State Police.
The killing is surrounded by what the police term an element of mystery, coupled with genuine fear upon the part of the residents of the section that they too may be made a victim of the killer’s bullets.
Buried behind the actual details of the killing are all the elements of a mountain feud and deep rooted hatred that has cropped to the surface time and time again during the past decade or more that has marked the appearance in the county courts of several trivial cases which only served to fire the hatred of the persons into the flame of what reached the proportions of a “Hill Billy Feud.”.
Mrs. Mummery and her family lived in deadly fear that something would happen and they hid behind a reserve of fear and determination to keep their troubles to themselves.
County Detective Buono said the killing bore all the ear marks of a “killer” hatred that finally culminated in one attempt to shoot the woman as she was in the house alone, and was followed by a successful when the person who did the shooting fired directly at the woman from the window as her adopted daughter stood beside her, holding a lamp.
The blast of the shotgun was sufficient to extinguish the oil lamp and the two survivors waited until dawn until they gained sufficient courage to venture out of the house.
According to County Detectives Louis D., Buono, and John I. Ferns who are investigating the crime. The shooting occurred at 8 o’clock Saturday evening the bullet a pumpkin ball fired from a 12 gauge shotgun entered the front window of the living room. Shattering the window glass in its course. It struck the victim in the right side passing through the lung and heart and finally lodging in the stomach. The woman was bending over a couch at the time with her daughter ministering to a lame foot of Rice.
Chief Detective Buono said this morning that there was no question the women had been the victim of an assassin’s bullet and the police hoped to get the killer.
The Mummey house is located two and a half miles north of Ringtown and was occupied by the dead woman, Rice and the adopted daughter “Totty”. Totty is a victim of spinal meningitis is a cripple and Rice was suffering from an injured foot. Both were so thoroughly frightened that they feared to go out side of the house dreading they to would be shot. And it was daylight before Rice ventured out and made his way to a neighbor’s home. Where he was given an auto ride to Ringtown.
The police announced today that Mrs. Mummey had been threatened upon numerous occasions and they are convinced she was deliberately shot.
One suspect a resident of the section was taken into custody and is being grilled by the police, who refused to revel his identity.

Pottsville Republican March 22, 1934




Albert Shinsky 24, of 215 E. Lloyd St, Shenandoah, confessed early this morning that he shot and killed Mrs. Susan Mummey, age 63, of Ferndale, near Ringtown. He says he did so free himself from a spell she had cast upon him seven years ago as he worked in a field a cross from the Mummey farm. The youth is a clean cut, intelligent chap in all except his hallucinations except that he has been hexed as he calls it.
This morning in his cell he told a member of the republican staff. He told a weird and unbelievable story asserting that he felt hex spell leave his body immediately after when Mrs. Mummey died.
Shinsky said he tramped over two miles to the house and how at last he wanted to rid himself of the hex.
In her coffin Detective Bunon said she looked like a million dollars, explain that the golden hair of the elderly woman framed an attractively peaceful face.
“Yes I thought she would look nice with her eyes closed,” said Shinsky, “but ,Oh those eyes when she looked at you! I could not stand them.”
Several times during the examination he suddenly stopped talking looked straight ahead fixedly at the wall, then his face became clouded with the most grotesque grimaces as though of fear and pain. He appeared to be in the throes of an epileptic fit. In about eight minutes he came out of the spell and was weak., but apparently normal otherwise. He explained that whenever he saw some sharp object he could not take his eyes from it, and then it developed into a huge black cat with flaming eyes which snarled and spat at him, and continually threatened. He said he could not take his eyes from it. And in the face of the cat he could see the face of the woman he accused of hexing him.
It started seven years ago, he said, when he was working on the farm. Mrs. Mummey with whom they had been having trouble over the land, came to the fence near where he was working and stood looking fixedly at him. A cold perspiration came over him. He felt a hand drop heavily across his shoulders. He could not work. He went back to the house, and since then he has been bewitched.
For years he dreaded to climb the stairs to his bedroom, for, unless he trod evenly on each step, the cat sprang out at him. So it was that he has climbed into his room for years over the shed in the back of the house, and in through the window.
“Those eyes!” he repeatedly murmured half to himself, “Oh, those eyes, oh how I wanted to have them closed! I could not stand them!”
Prior to the actual killing, Shinsky stated he on numerous occasions visited the Mummey home with the intention to kill her. Each time he drew close to the home her spell became stronger and each time he went away afraid that in killing her he was apt to bring dire results to himself.
For seven years he thus suffered. He visited pow wow doctors, seven in number, each of whom gave him very little help, with the exception of one. A pow wow doctor in Hazelton seemed to have been the only one that could give him relief. This man urged him to repeat “God The Father ,God the Son, and God The Holy Ghost” each time the spell seemed to move him.
This was the only help where he visited at night by a great big black cat with piercing green eyes that he said had a face resembling that of Mrs. Mummey’s. As he lay in bed this black cat visited him. It slowly crawled thru his closed bed room window and towards his bed. There it would rest itself on the side of his bed and claw at his side. It was painful torture and continued until he could gather strength enough to utter “God the Father, etc.”
Once a month and sometimes more often, this huge black cat would visit him and make it impossible for him to sleep. He would become ice cold, so cold that he had to get out of his bed and run around and around in his room to keep warm.
After a visit from the cat he would be completely lost and bewildered. He was actually helpless and unable to work. He complained to his parents and brothers and sister, but they claimed that it was his imagination and he was to lazy to work. They tried to help him but no matter what they would do it all proved useless.
When first stricken with this spell he was forced to quit his job as a miner at West Shenandoah Colliery. This, he had to do because he was without physical power and unable to do a days work. After a short vacation at home during which time he rested hoping that might help him regain his strength he went to Newark to work.
Figuring that separating himself many hundreds of miles fro Mrs. Mummey might help him, he accepted a position with the Western Electric Company of Newark. He had a responsible position there, but after


The scene of the Mummey killing is in the heart of a region that was one of the earliest settlements of Schuylkill County and one which owes practically all of its early blood to Berks county immigration among which class is found much of the old “Hex” folk lore. In the foothills of the Mahantongo mountain range extending from the Susquehanna to the Lehigh, the North Union Twp. Tracts are directly in the territory of “Line Mountain” so called because it marked the southern boundary of Indian settlements and the northern early treaty arrangements for the white man incursion in what is originally labeled as Impenetrable wilderness.
In the Northeastern corner of Schuylkill county near the headwaters of both the Little A Schuylkill and the Catawissa, the early migrations made their way into what is now Union Twp. And settled with saw mills and grist mills the chief means of occupation.
Residents of the territory say evidence of the “Witchcraft” days still abound. “Hex” markings are to be found at intervals and the county detectives have been regaled with stories of spells and counter spells being placed on the cows, horses, mules chickens and other farm attributes.
It was a spell of this type that Shinsky claims was cast upon him as he worked on his farm and which caused him the eight years of visitations by the Hex Cat” and culminated in murder.
The detectives working on the case class the general conditions as one of illiteracy mixed with a wealth of folk lore and a combination of the early Dutch beliefs and the “Hill Billies” of the Southern Appalachian chain.
The case is the second one of its type to develop in Schuylkill county the famous “Hex Cat” case of the Tumbling Run Valley also an early trail of the settlers, causing much attention a quarter of a century ago. This case was marked chiefly by arson outbreaks or threats of arson and “silver” Bullets” were molded to ward off the visit of the evil animals. The site of this outbreak to this day is known as the Hex Cat and is abandoned.


Pottsville..September 28, 1911

Feline Blamed For Casting Spell Over Family
While Hex Tales From Tumbling Run Have Created Derision, the Authorities Are Suprised at Number of Weird Complaints

In the gray of the early morning a score of the more intrepid farmers of Tumbling Run Valley and a few interested ones, on invitations given by Miss Mary Isabella Thomas, who alleges that a “hex” or witch has placed a spell on the family through the machinations of a relative living in Orwigsburg, watched in vain for the appearance at the farm house of the black cat, which the young woman says has assumed gigantic shape, at times reaching the maximum height of four feet. They waited with a gun loaded with a gold bullet, but the feline for the first time in many weeks failed to put in an appearance.
Spirit Frightened Away
Some of her waiting guests believe the evil spirit was frightened away by reason of the fact that they carried Bibles, crucifixes, and talismans to break witches’ spells. Miss Thomas says that the big cat will surely appear some morning, and then either she or her uncle will shoot it with the golden bullet. They have great faith in the precious metal messenger of death, although lead bullets tailed them on other occasions. Miss Thomas has taken up her residence with a neighbor, and the haunted farmhouse has been deserted.
Since she made public her statements that a “hex” is following the family, she has had five offers of marriage. She has decided to accept none of them. Mrs. Sarah Potts has offered to give her sister, Mary, a home with her, despite the fact that she is named by the latter as being the author of the family’s misfortunes. Miss Thomas still possesses charms sent to her by a California witch doctor, and she says that she will guard them closely for future use.

Farmers Wrought Up
The farmers of the Tumbling Run Valley are greatly wrought up over this mysterious “hex” case and want the strange affair thoroughly sifted to the bottom. The Republican, of Pottsville, the largest daily, in an editorial asks for an investigation.
While the “hex” stories from Tumbling Run have created derision and laughter in Pottsville, the authorities were surprised at the number of weird complaints which came in from that vicinity. One farmer, who has brought a large quantity of milk from the Tumbling Run Valley for many years, declares that the fresh fluid was discolored as he brought it to market. There were also three automobile accidents in that vicinity.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


While performing as the “Breaker Boys” Tommy Symons and I have had some great times. We have made many friends, and have had the pleasure of meeting many people. But nobody, compares to the wonderful friendship that the anthracite coal miners and their families have given us.. As we have always said, the greatest honor we ever had was to be asked to perform at "The Independent Coal Miners Picnic" in our home area.

The “Breaker Boys” want to thank David A. Lucas and his family for giving us the opportunity to perform songs about the coal miners, and to sing and write their stories back into history..

This Years Posters...Tag all photos to enlarge

A few Scenes From The 26th Annual Independent Coal Miners Picnic.

The Breaker Boys Tommy Symons and Stu Richards with David A Lucas, and State Senator David A. Argall who came and pledged his support to the Independent Coal Miners.

The Breaker Boys and Senator Argall singing "When The Breakers Go Back On Full Time"

The Boys With David A....

David Listening to our Song about him.

Tommy Symons Takin about "Intelligence"

Acting out the song, The Star of the County Down"

Tommy teaching the young lad "Steve Forgotch" how to play the banjo.

Tommy playing Nose Music????? Don't ask me!

Pastor saying the prayer for the miners and the traditional reading of the names on this years glass mug.

Me, With the one and only David A. Lucas, without his hard work and efforts there would be no Miners Picnic.

Anthracite Coal Miners, family and Friends at this years picnic.

When you get asked to do your thing at this event..You have to be good!
DJ Golddust...Some Great Music
YOU CAN CALL DJ GOLDUST @ 717 365 0901
570 682 9248
CELL 717 856 5006

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Miner Folklore And Superstitions ...And Pay Scales For Luke Fiddler Colliery 1877

Some Interesting Miner Folklore.
And Superstitions.

1. It was bad luck to enter a mine if you met a red headed woman on the way to work.

2. You never changed your job or moved your family on a Friday.

3. The howling of a dog meant the death in a family the next day.

4. Whenever a miner was killed in the mines, all the employees went home and did not return to work until after the funeral.

5. The crumbs left in a miners dinner pail were supposed to be gifted with supernatural powers.

6. Powder smoke was recognized as a cure fro whooping cough.

7. Pow wowers and Hex women were supposed to be gifted women.
A. If they blew their breath into the mouth of a child they could cure a sore throat.
B. The seventh child of the seventh son had the power to cure a fever.

8. Early miners celebrated the " Feast of Mary Goes Over The Mountain " and believed if it rained on that day it would rain for 40 days.

9. June 25 was " Mid Summer Day " and bonfires were built on hillsides and young girls would see the vision of their future husbands in the dancing flames.

10 White rats in the mine had talents unknown they got into the feed of the mules and stayed under ground their whole lives. They stole and thrived on the food from the miners.

11. The mine rat knew of impending danger, when they ran for safety so did the miners. If a man had six senses then the mine rat had seven or eight. Every time they ran there was either a fall of coal or a gas explosion.

12. They say a miner killed underground, his ghost will return to finish the job.

13. When an Irish miner died professional criers were hired to wail and howl at the miners wake. There was a saying " That to hear the Irish cry is to never forget it."

14. It was also bad luck for a woman to enter the mine, because certain women could put a curse on the mine.

15. Miners believed that mules could see ghosts and spirits, that the miners couldn't see.

Below is the pay scales for the Luke Fiddler Colliery. Included are the occupations/ the number employed/ and the pay scale.

The Luke Fiddler Colliery
Near Shamokin, Pa.
August, 1877


1. Outside Boss 1 $ 66.64 per month.
2. Clerk 1 48.00 per month.
3. Civil Engineer 1 30.00 per month.
4. Stable Boss 1 40.00 per month.
5. Stable Helper 1 28.00 per month.
6. Watchman 1 1.08 per day rate.
1.50 per day rate.

7. Teamster 1 1.00 per day rate.
8. Blacksmith 3 1.83 per day rate.
1.58 per day rate.
9. Blacksmith Helper. 1.13 per day rate.

10. Chief Carpenter 1 30.00 per 1/2 month.
11. Carpenter Repair 2 1.46 per day rate.
1.37 per day rate.

12. Engineer 1 1.58 per day rate.

13. Fireman 2 1.25 per day rate.
1.08 per day rate.
14. Laborer 7 .83 per day rate.
1.00 per day rate.
1.17 per day rate.

15. Car Loader 1.17 per day rate.

16. Dirt Bank 9 1.04 per day rate.
.67 per day rate.
.91 per day rate.
.79 per day rate.

17. Rock Bank 2 .83 per day rate.

18. Tipman 2 1.17 per day rate.
1.00 per day rate.

19. Rollerman 5 1.04 per day rate.
.97 per day rate.
.67 per day rate.

20. Chute Boss 1 1.58 per day rate.

21. Slate Pickers 68 .42 per day rate.
.50 Per day rate.
.65 per day rate.

Luke Fidler Colliery
August 1877

During the month of August most of the pickers only worked a total of 8 days.

22. Mason Repair 1 $2.00 per day rate.

23. Hauling Timber 2 4.00 per day rate.


24. Inside Boss 1 80.00 per month.

25. Repairman 6 1.50 per day rate.
1.33 per day rate.
1.20 per day rate.

26. Bottom Slope 2 1.04 per day rate.

27. Runner 2 1.04 per day rate.

28. Plane Man 2 1.33 per day rate.

29. Driver Boss 1 1.50 per day rate.

30. Drivers 18 1.04 per day rate.
.84 per day rate.
.92 per day rate.

31. Oiler 1 .94 per day rate.

32. Door Boy 2 .67 per day rate
.62 per day rate.

33. Switch Boy 2 .62 per day rate.

34. Shaft Engineer 1 1.58 per day rate.

35. Pumpman 1 1.57 per day rate.

36. Top of Shaft 3 1.12 per day rate.

37. Bottom of Shaft 1 1.12 per day rate.

38. Miners in Gangway 4 1.25 per day rate.
1.04 per day rate.

39. Miners in Airways 2 1.21 per day rate.

40. Coal Car Pushers 17 .58 per day rate.


41. East No. 9 Vein 3
Miner 2.50 per yard.
Miner Slate 2.00 per yard
Miner 33 cars @ .50 /car
Laborers 4 1.17 per day rate.

42. Short Plane 1
Miner 2.00 per yard. 22 cars @ .45 /car.

43. West No. 8 Vein
Miners 2 2.00 per yard.
31 cars @ .41 /car.
Laborers 2 1.08 per day rate.

44. Long Plane East No.9
Miners 2 1.75 per yard
29 cars @ .45 /car.

45. Breasts Chutes and Headings.
103 Miners.

.50 per car load.
.45 per car load.

Heading 1.50 per yard.
Chute 1.00 per yard
Platform .75 per yard.

Laborers 1.17 per day rate.

Breast 14 Chute 2.00 per yard.

46. Swamp Counter
Miners 3 .45 per car load.
Laborers 2 1.04 per day.

47. Car Agent 1 40.00 per 1/2 month.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CALL ME KATE....Meeting the Molly Maguires

A Great New Historical Novel About Coal Region History

Call Me Kate:
Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe is a young adult novel published by Tribute Books in November 2008.

The plot, set in Pennsylvania's hard coal region, interweaves events of the early Molly Maguire era with the coming of age of a young Irish-American girl.Molly was born in Philadelphia but was raised in Schuylkill County. She is a 1972 graduate of Marian High School in Tamaqua, a 1976 graduate of Penn State University, and she later attained her Ph.D. in education from Temple University. About her motivation for writing, Molly says, "After years of genealogy research, I decided to put my thoughts into writing for future generations. The family stories I heard while growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania amazed me; the stoicism of the people was astounding. I found many of my "ordinary" relatives mentioned in the historical records and Molly Maguire trial transcripts and wondered how they survived the extraordinary events of the time. The "what ifs" led to Call Me Kate, my first novel."

Call Me Kate is available at and in hardcover, paperback, or as a Kindle download.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Photos of Me and My Grandson Nathaniel Breaking the Labor Law of 1918..Actaully a Living history program at Pioneer Tunnel.


On May 3. 1918 the Child Labor Bill passed. Gov. Brambaugh won his fight on the Cox Child Labor Bill.
The bill as it stood on the 28th provides that no minor between 14 and 16 years shall be permitted to work more than 51 hours a week or more than nine hours a day. Such children shall also be compelled to go to a vocational school at least eight hours each week, the time they spend in such school to be counted in the 51 hours.
Here in the coal region the bill was not liked.

On April 25th , 1918 the Pottsville Republican ran an article entitiled:

It has been erroneously spread through the state that the miners of the anthracite region are favorable to the new child labor law which has been introduced at the behest of Governour Brumbaugh, and that they are using their influence to have it enacted. The truth of the matter is the miners are bitterly opposed to the law because it will have the effect of robbing their children of all forms of employment until they reach the age of 16 years. They will not be permitted to have their boys do any work of any kind around the mine or breaker until they have reached the age of 16. Many of them are satisfied for their own individual preferences to have this condition exist but they recognize that it is going to work a fearful hardship on the widows and families of their comrades who have been killed in the mines and who have left a family to support itself in the best way it can find. They know by contact and actual experience with their neighbors in these mining towns that the new law will have the effect of breaking up the family of almost every mineworker who was killed in the mines or who has passed away from other causes.

Around the small mining town there is absolutely no work to be found except in or around the breakers and mines. The occupations are usually not too laborious and are not harmful as is attested by the fact that many of the richest, brainiest and most able men of the coal region today are men who worked in the breakers and mines when they were boys under the age of that provided by the new child labor law.
It is true the miners do favor the eight hour day for the boy, but they also know that it is an economic impossibility to have the working day restricted for the boy at the colliery as long as the other employees are obliged to work more than eight hours. They favor an eight hour workday for everyone, but an eight hour day for boys while the collieries or mills work longer hours will simply have the effect of driving away employment from every boy under 16 years of age.
There is much resentment being expressed everywhere because of the undue influence of the governor being exerted to force this measure through against the best thoughts of the members of the legislature and the citizens of practical experience throughout the state. It is going to work a hardship everywhere, and it is felt that members of the legislature should be left to act according to the wishes of its constituents without having this executive influence held over their heads, which may rob them of all the prerogatives unless they act in accordance with the wishes of the governor.

While the child labor law was not amended at the committee hearing last week, it is probable that amendment will be made to it before it is reported out of the committee this week. It is probable that a vote on the measure

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"HURRY BOYS GET ME OUT!"....The April 27, 1918 Accident At Sharp Mountain Colliery, Pottsville

Miners At Work


Working in the anthracite coal mines of eastern Pennsylvania has always been a dangerous and deadly job, and continues to be to this day. In 1918 the anthracite coal industry was working at or near its peak in coal production. Mines were working hard to supply coal for the military and its involvement in World War 1.
On April 27, 1918 David Daub and his butty Irvin Umbenhauer and fellow miners were working in the 36 foot heading of the 30 foot mammoth split vein in the Sharp Mountain Mine of the Sherman Coal Corporation, Pottsville. Daub and another miner were cutting upward on the 36 foot heading, when a rush of coal had enveloped him. Near by was the inside foreman Thomas Hawkin, who heard Daub shout out, “Hurry boys, and get me out.”
For three quarters of an hour, from 4:10 until five o’clock, Friday afternoon the miners were working grimily and silently. They could hear Daub repeat his cry for help over and over. Then after an hours time they heard him no more. It was after 7:00 o’clock a.m. Saturday morning when the lifeless body of Daub was uncovered. He was taken to the Pottsville Hospital where a doctor examined him and said that he had been dead for 12 hours or more.
Cuts and bruises covered the 55 year old Daubs body, and both his shoulder blades were broken. David Daub was your typical anthracite coal miner who braved death every day he went into the anthracite coal mines, earning a meager livelihood for his wife and six children, the oldest not yet 14 years, and the youngest only an infant, who waited his return in vain.
During the rescue attempt, hope was expressed to the wife and family until the last. Daubs body was taken in charge by Undertaker Shoener and was later removed to his home , at 731 E. Norwegian St. Pottsville.

Types of Mines

During the valiant effort to save Daub none of the miners worked with greater determination than that of Irvin Umbenhauer, a brother miner, who had been working with Daub. The manway was about three feet square, and was being driven up through the center of the pillar and the work had gone on to the point where the second set of timber was to have been put in. Daub was standing on the ladder built to carry the men forward and upward almost perpendicular or straight as the pitch runs from 70 to 80 degrees. Several small rushes of coal dust and broken coal dropped and were cleared away. Then when Umbenhauer was down on the heading, and Daub was was standing on the ladder rungs his feet about four feet from the heading which is a little tunnel between the breasts or mine chambers, a big rush of coal came down and jammed Daub in the narrow manway.
Umbenhauer immediately sent in an alarm for help and started to pull down the manway coal but fast as it was removed at the bottom more kept coming and filling up the space about the form of Daub, which seemed wedged to ladder, so that he could not be drawn down. With frenzied effort the men redoubled their endeavors under the direction of Foreman Hawkin, especially when the hear the pleading voice of Daub, urging them to hurry, words the men who heard him can still hear, and which makes them feel the cost of mining coal never can be measured in dollars and cents. The miners operated in relays.
Finally other miners set at work driving a counter manway or opening along the side the one in which Daub was pinned, and by a strenuous effort it was pushed to a point above the end of the other manway, and then a hole was cut above where the body of Daub was, and timber placed there blocked any further rush of coal. The debris was removed and the body extricated.
General Manager Paul Heinze and his son, worked hard to rescue the entombed miner, and when hope was gone helped to recover the body. Other miners engaged in the work were Fireboss, John Lishman, Outside Foreman John Schablein, Henry Umbenhauer, Joseph Womer, Andrew Mulson, Edward Montag and others.
David Daub came to Pottsville from Ashland some years ago, and looked upon as a careful and efficient, coal miner and a good husband and father. The coal is of a friable nature. This is the foirst fatal accident at this colliery, which is located near S. Second St, and the Cressona Hillside Road.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Here is a bit of aviation history for the coal region.
In one of my previous posts on this blog I reported on the flight of an aircraft over Schuylkill Haven, the article from the Schuylkill Haven Call from October 31, 1919


The aeroplane that visited our town Friday, Saturday and Sunday certainly proved a stellar attraction as thousands and thousands of children as well as adults were attracted to the landing field which was in the field near the brick plant. The owner of the machine was Audrey Stewart and the pilot was Lieutenant Bishop of the British aerial force. A number of local people enjoyed the sensation of flying over the town at one dollar per minute and all report enjoying the same very much. The biggest crowd of spectators was on hand Sunday. Not only did the Schuylkill haven people walk out to the fields but it is said there were several hundreds of automobiles and motorcycles coming from all sections that brought many more
hundreds of persons to the scene. Only a few flights were made on Sunday on account of the heavy atmosphere. Among those persons known to have taken flights were: Frank Deibert, Mrs. Reuben Hoffman, Jacob Rudy, Earl Stoyer, Charles Oberley, Joseph Mulholland, William Schuckers and Miss Clementine Tobin of Pottsville. It is understood the aeroplane will pay this section a return visit probably this Friday and Saturday, the machine having been taken to Allentown for several days
In the Pottsville Miners Journal I found a follow up on the aircrafts visit to the region.
The article in the October 25, 1919 Pottsville Miners Journal Read:

By Clementine Tobin.
“Gee it was great”
With Lieutenant Bishop I this afternoon at about two O’clock flew over Schuylkill Haven and Orwigsburg and the southern end of Pottsville in a Curtis aero plane. I was up one thousand feet and we stayed in the air for half an hour.
I am the only girl who ever flown over Schuylkill County and I am some proud girl, believe me. I enjoyed every minute of the flight. Scared? Not a bit. The sensation upon rising is rather pleasant instead of being distressing and “scarry” as most people suppose. We went up gradually and after we had attained a height of 300 feet I looked down. There was Schuylkill Haven pike unwinding like a great white ribbon. All of a sudden a yellow streak flashed along it and I knew it was Couch’s automobile. I yelled “hello” Couchie, but of course he couldn’t hear me.
Then we went up and over Orwigsburg. I always did like that place but looking down from a height of 700 feet it looked like a little French village in miniature. It was beautiful. Then we went up some more and Lieut. Bishop, who is some aviator, said “take it from me “”were up a thousand feet now and I’m going to speed some” Then he let her out at the rate of 120 miles an hour. We’d have gone up higher but we had gotten into the clouds and I said I wanted to see something so the Lieutenant, always obliging, dropped down. That dropping business gets you a little but you get over it. Then we flew over the gap, Schuylkill Haven and the southern end of Pottsville.
You have no idea of the sensation, gliding along up there with the mist below you and the air rushing past you. I was sorry when my half hour was up.
When I landed I was snapped in my seat and then it was all over except the recollection which will be treasured by me for a long time to come.
Fly if you get a chance. Its great.
The Journal added another scoop to it already long list today when it sent Miss Clementine Tobin, a member of the United Press telegraph force on the first aero flight ever made in Schuylkill County by a girl.
Miss Tobin clambered aboard the big Curtiss plane in front of Lieut. Bishop, at the aviation field just across from the Half Way House between Schuylkill Haven and Orwigsburg shortly before two o’clock this afternoon and viewed the towns in the southern end of Schuylkill county from the clouds.
And the clouds they were. Lowering so that anything more than 1,000 feet, te peak of the flight, was impossible at that hour of the day, with senery visible below the plane.
The little aviatrix, clambered aboard the big plane like one to the manner born; and Ruth Law or no one else never did better on there madden trip. She was calm and collected throughout the experience and as soon as she again set foot on terra firma vowed that some day she will be a regular patron of the aero taxi. Or else become a driver.
Miss Tobins, story of the flight which appears herewith while very enthusiastic was no more so that the ground which watched her put that stunt over.
“Gee, but she has nerve” and kindred expressions were freely heard and they were warranted too: As Lieutenant Bishop at the completion of the 20 mile trip said he never had a passenger who gave him less concern than did this fair passenger from the Journal office.
The Curtiss plane is in charge of Sudrey Stewart. Flights for passengers are made very day. The plane is alongside the road opposite the Half Way House Hotel between Schuylkill Haven and Orwigsburg. Ten and fifteen dollars is the charge for a flight. Absolute safety is guaranteed and Lieut. Bishop is a careful and thorough driver.

Again on November 7th , 1919. Clementine Tobin made another flight on the Curtiss. This time over Pottsville.

True to her promise Clementine Tobin, the Journal girl who was the first girl to fly over Schuylkill County, this afternoon at about 1:00 o’clock went up with Lieut. Bishop and flew over Pottsville, attaing an altitude of from 4,000 to 5,000 feet. The plucky little aviatrix showed no fear at all, not even when the Lieutenant brought his machine down in a dip, just west of the Henry Clay monument.
The trip was started from the aviation field near the Half Way House, and at 12:50 the plane left the ground, after several other air passengers including Manager Hall of the Traction Company and Walter Farguhar also of the Journal staff had taken in the country from a reasonably high altitude.
Miss Tobin, made today’s trip, not as an experiment but because of her promise to take a high flight with Lieut. Bishop, her first trip ten days ago being made in inclement weather which was not conducive to high flying.
Her gallant pilot brought her west, over Schuylkill Haven and up over sharp mountain at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet, a nose dip over the end of the mountain brining in the plane down to within the sight of the residents of streets on the high points of the city. They sailed north over the Steel Mill and made a turn which took them over Lawton’s Hill, and then south to the aviation field where a quick descent was made with a nose dip which would have scared a less nervy person nearly to death. After the trip Lieut. Bishop said he was very much impressed with the nerve of the darling little flyer. The trip lasted 35 minutes.
Bishop and Steward have been here for the entire week past battling with the weather, but conditions have been against flying. They will remain all day Saturday and Sunday at the aviation field and will take a number of flights. Many passengers have booked but those who desire to take a flight may arrange to do so. The weather is now ideal. The plane has been overhauled and the opportunity to view Pottsville from the heights is here for those who have the desire and the nerve to enjoy such a pleasant sensation.

C.A. Hall, general manager of the Eastern Penna. Railways Co. is the first civilian to have circled over Pottsville in an aeroplane. He made the flight Friday at noon, starting from the Half Way House, with Lieutenant Bishop.
If you noticed a plane circling over Pottsville about 12:30 o’clock, it was the one in which Mr. Hall and Lieut. Bishop were seated.
While in the aeroplane, Mr. Hall dropped three souvenirs, over different parts of the city. The souvenirs were tie pins, in the form of a miniature electric globes, Mr. Hall’s card was enclosed together with a brand new Lincoln Penny, for ballast.
The plane soared over the city at an altitude of 2,000 feet.
The sensation, as described by Mr. Hall, was like driving in an automobile, on a bowling alley, at the rate of 60 miles per hour. Trees and houses looked like specks and the fields looked like squares on a checker board.
A flight of this kind causes no fear, once free of the ground; the smooth motion eliminates all sense of danger. Occasionally, a gentle rise of the plane, gives a sensation similar to yachting.
Lieutenant Bishop is an army aviator, with a wonderful service record. He downed two German planes, while in France and performed other meritorious service. His control of the aeroplane is wonderful so that no one need fear going up with him.

November 9th , 1919 the Pottsville Journal reported :

Twenty-two Schuylkill Countians enjoyed flights in the big aeroplane from its base at the Half Way House at Schuylkill Haven, Sunday, and the number would have ben greater but for the drop in temperature late in the afternoon and an aversion to making trips at dusk. Many Pottsville people were among the number and others arrainged to go to the field to day and enjoy their first experience soaring.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Remarkable Descent of one of them into the Chute
and his recovery from a pressure of
six tons of coal after quarter of an hour burial.

That the boys “down in the coal mines underneath the ground”, have the same hold on life as a cat, was instanced yesterday in a remarkable accident which befell two of the “impls” in the Plank Ridge Colliery. As it resulted without doing any special damage to either, excepting to give them a first class scare, the relation of it cannot but fall to raise a laugh. The breaker being stopped these two youngsters, each about the size of Tom Thumb, indulged in a favorite pastime among them when the “boss” is not around of sliding down the “Telegraph” upon which the coal runs from the screen to the bins below and thence the cars. But yesterday the speed made was so great that they did not stop until they got down into the chute and just at that moment when a car was being loaded of coal. The suction caused by the coal falling into the care drew the boys down and they were huddled into the coal as if they were pieces of “black diamonds” themselves. The alarm was immediately given by their companions to the front of the breaker and soon one of the boys was rescued unhurt from his dangerous position. But fifteen or twenty minutes elapsed before the other could be discovered. He was as much lost to the world as Dr. Livingstone was in the heart of Africa before Stanley, of the New York herald, discovered him. The loads of six cars were as rapidly as possible drawn out of the chute upon the track, but was not until nearly thirty tons had been that the little drawn legs of the youngster were discovered coming out of the chute. Everyone thought they were surely pulling out a corpse when they seized his feet and handed him out. But as it turned out he was mighty live one. After Captain Hoskins had stood over him on his feet, shaken him well and got the coal dust out of his mouth, ears and eyes, the young imp set up a hearty laugh. “How did you get in there, “demanded the superintendent when he saw the youngster sound in life and limb. The “original sin” could not help sticking out even at this moment of a rescue from death. “A boy pushed me in.” replied he, to whom lying was as natural as eating. He may live to be a member of the legislature or congress yet or at least a delegate to a county convention.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Panthers Pottsville Midget Football Team 1961


While going through some of my photo's I came across this great old team photo of the Panthers Midget football Team from Pottsville. The teams in the league were the Panthers, Falcons, Tornadoes, Rockets and Bulldozers, I am trying to remember the names of the guys, if anyone knows the names of the players I missed or got wrong let me know.

Front Row L-R Harry Haughney, unknown, unknown Les Paine, Bill Baldwin (Judge Baldwin), Jack Dolbin, (NFL Denver Broncos, Dr, Chiropatric) unknown, Lynn unknown

Second row, Andy Basaniski, Joe Hopkins, unknown, George Cicero, Ronnie Rose, Ed Ginther, unknown.

Third Row, Bruce Brown, Joe Unknown, Frank Mills, Brud Dolbin, Jim Wallaeur, Joe Purcell,

Forth Row, (Me, Stu Richards) Hummel, Charlie Hopkins, unknown, unknown Rick Daldeo,

Coach Wally Mills, Coach Shuster, Coach Fred Lewis,