Another York-Baltimore tie in the news

This post is intended only to show once more an example of finding a thread that leads back to York County in many stories, past and present, often where not expected. I am not soliciting anyone’s opinion on recent events, no matter how strongly they are held. My role is to simply share our common history as objectively as I can.

One of the four statues removed the other night in Baltimore was the Confederate Women’s statue. It stood very prominently at North Charles St. and West University Blvd., where I took the above photo seven years ago. My 2010 blog post, repeated below gives you the tentative York County connection:

York Woman Depicted on Maryland Confederate Monument

Posted on May 19, 2010 by june lloyd

Many of you have probably driven past this Baltimore monument. It sits at the center of a small triangular park at the intersection of Charles Street and University Parkway. The front of the granite pedestal reads: “The Confederate Women of Maryland 1861 + 1866 The brave at home.”

Carved on the back is: “In difficulty and danger Regardless of self They fed the hungry Clothed the needy and Comforted the dying.”

What does this have to do with York County, PA? According to the undated clipping below, found in a scrapbook of one of her descendants, the seated woman is Kate Reilly Small, the second wife of W. Latimer Small of the prominent Small family of York. The clipping reads:

Tribute to Well Known York Woman. “Polly Prattle” in yesterday’s Baltimore American says the following about a prominent York woman–Mrs. W. Latimer Small: “have you even taken a really good look at the monument to the Confederate women of Maryland on University Parkway, which was recently unveiled? I think nearly all of us have seen it as we passed to and from the Country Club, but only the other day I heard that the central figure was that of Kate Reilly. Surely, you remember this loveliest of all Virginia belles, now Mrs. Small, of York, and mother of our Katie Small Stewart. She is depicted holding the head of a soldier lad in her lap, an incident founded in fact, for the Virginia belle in the enthusiasm of her youth and her desire to be of service did hold the head of one of the Southern boys who had been wounded until he breathed his last.

Maryland was a border state during the Civil War. Although they never joined the Confederacy, many of their citizens sympathized with the South. Maryland is well populated with monuments for both sides. Click here to see more Baltimore monuments.

The recent 2015-2017 Special Commission to Review Baltimore’s Public Confederate Monuments had decided to retain the monument, with a plaque that has been installed to put it into context. This link will take you more information on the statue and the plaque that had been recently installed.

Note that Kate Reilly (also spelled Reily) Small (1845-1920) would have been an older woman when the statue was sculpted in the nineteen teens.  If she was the inspiration for the young woman holding the soldier, it seems the sculptor would have had to worked from an earlier photo or portrait.

Kate Reilly Small?

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York Fair chilly in 1937 but restaurant patrons hot

1937 York Fair information book. Courtesy of York County History Center

Only a few months until the 2017 York Fair. Although the animals and other exhibits are under roof, it still is very much an outdoor fair, with many activities at the mercy of the weather.

For many years the fair was held in October, about a month before the present September dates; it was moved up in the 1940s. An article from the Saturday, October 9, 1937, Gazette and Daily recounts how cold it could get in the early fall. Going from an all-time high of 105,000 paid admission on Thursday that week, the attendance dropped to 35,000 on Friday. The coat check concession had no business and refreshment stands switched from milk shakes and cold sodas to hot chocolate and coffee, reporting brisk sales. Sales of grandstand seats were way down, as many declined to sit in the cold wind.

Tempers flamed at the fair, though, as “angered patrons” complained of “unfair ‘come-on’” signs outside fair restaurants. The paper explained: Continue reading

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York County children enjoyed seeing their work in the newspaper

For many years the Junior Dispatch page was published on Saturdays in the York Dispatch. Pupils of fourth through ninth grades could submit their writing and art through their teachers. Children could contribute “stories, photos, cartoons, drawings, articles, poetry, editorials, jokes, or other types of materials,” as long as they were their own work. The paper would reward each child whose entry was published with a silver dollar as well as a “Junior Press Card.”

I was reminded of the Junior Dispatch by a friend who retrieved a copy, from the Dispatch microfilm at the York County History Center, of her brother’s submission. She planned to present it to him when she visited him in Florida. Here is his short piece, along with a few others from the November 9, 1957 Junior Dispatch:


By Max V. Pickel, Jr., Brogueville, Brogue, fifth

One day my father and I were flying our airplanes. My father was flying his radio control and I was flying my line control. It was fun because we flew all afternoon.

When we came home it was time to go to evening church. My mother made me take a bath. But when I was done, it was too late to go to church. So I had taken a bath for nothing.

At least that’s what I said.

Max would still have been attending a one-room school at the Brogue in 1957. As I have written before, Chanceford Township, now part of the Red Lion Area school district, opened their new consolidated school just in time for the 1958-59 school year.

By the late 1950s many of the other Junior Dispatch contributors were already attending elementary schools with each classroom housing the same grade level, as today. Here is a contribution with some drama from a York City resident: Continue reading

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York County history noted on illustrated map

Prints of this illustrated map of York County were issued in 1932 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of York City Laundry and Dry Cleaners. It shows townships and some, but not all, of the present-day boroughs located in the county, as well as a close-up of downtown York. Curiously, the map also shows the outline of the 1722 Springettsbury Manor grant, not the eventually settled-upon 1768 boundaries that resulted in a narrower but longer piece of land kept for the Penns and their heirs.

A scroll below the drawing of York’s center states “Compiled & drawn by Edwin Tunis.” Tunis was a quite well-known author and illustrator, specializing in interpreting early American life for young people. His lavishly illustrated 1961 book, Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America was chosen as a Newberry Honor Book, and it also received other awards in children’s literature. Tunis was born in New York state, but he attended the Maryland Institute of Art and spent much of his life in the Baltimore area.

The profuse illustrations and nicely lettered captions capture many York County historical events charmingly, if not totally accurately. Most of the descriptions are good and the rest can at least serve as springboards for further research.

York County History Center Director of Library and Archives, Lila Fourhman-Shaull, reminded me of the map recently when she showed me a framed copy that has been donated to be sold at the upcoming Book Blast. (There are already several copies in the YCHC Library/Archives collections.) The Book Blast will be held at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum on West Princess Street August 10-12. Click here for more information. Many books of all types have been donated, including a nice selection pertaining to local history. The Thursday evening session is for YCHC members only, but you can easily become a member at the door.

There are two golden seals on the back of the framed map. One is of the framer, Kauffman’s Art and Gift Shop, 12-14 North Beaver Street. The larger seal reads “FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY YORK CITY LAUNDRY 1882-1932 around the border; it incorporates William Wagner’s early seal of York Borough, showing Phineas Davis’s early steam locomotive, the York.

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Lee Anderson’s Shrewsbury printing business

Box of Leander Christmas cards

My recent York Sunday News column was on the leading 20th century poet, Lee Anderson, a resident of southern York County. In addition, I also shared some of Anderson’s poetry  in my last post. Here is a look at how he really supported himself:

Anderson was very candid in that very, very few poets ever earn enough to support themselves with poetry. Anderson and his wife Helen actively farmed their Potosi property and raised animals there for sale. He probably had a stipend to conduct his project of recording living poets reading their own poems, especially after Yale University took over the venture. Lecturing and visiting professorships would have brought in more income.

Christmas cards from Lee Anderson’s Shrewsbury Press

Along the way, Anderson had learned the craft of printing, so another source of funds was his local business, the Shrewsbury Press. The main output of that press was popular greeting cards, published under the Leander brand name, a contraction of Anderson’s name. I found a box of 24 different cards in Anderson’s files at the York County History Center Library/Archives. They are pictured here. Some of the designs are signed and I recognized some names of local artists.

More Leander Christmas cards

A somewhat worn birthday card was also in the files, with the Shrewsbury Press imprint. The front and back of that card are also pictured below. The rather sharp message is interesting, and the husband that would receive one of these cards had better take heed.


Posted in 1950s, 1960s, artists, business, farming, holidays, poets, Potosi, printers, Shrewsbury, Universal York, universities, York County | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Lee Anderson’s Shrewsbury printing business

Poetry from York County’s Lee Anderson

Title page of Prevailing Winds

In my recent York Sunday News column on nationally known poet and York County resident Lee Anderson, I noted his method of composing, and reading, a poem like a symphony. In this short example below from his poem Prevailing Winds, you can see how he laid out the words on a page, aiding the reader in reading the poem aloud, which is how Anderson stressed poetry should always be read. Continue reading

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Hanover Democrats celebrated victory graciously

Politics could be rough in the past, but the Hanover Democrats were pretty civil in celebrating the party’s win in the November 1882 Pennsylvania election for Governor. Here is the story from the November 28, 1882 York Dispatch, picked up from the Hanover Citizen: Continue reading

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Twentieth century poet Lee Anderson called York County home

Major American poet Lee Anderson resided the last thirty years of his life, his most productive years, living and working on his small farm at Potosi in south-central York County.

He occasionally traveled from here to various parts of the United States and Great Britain from 1951-1968 recording the leading poets of the time reading their own works. This venture has been preserved by the Yale Series of Recorded Poets. Ironically, he is probably better known for the recording project, which was his idea, as he is for his epic poems. He also spent relatively short periods out of the county as a visiting professor or lecturer at colleges and universities all over the United States, but the majority of his time was spent right here working on his poetry, his farm or in his printing business.

See below for my current York Sunday News column about Anderson’s life in poetry and in York County: Continue reading

Posted in 1890s, 1940s, 1970s, agriculture, farming, poets, Potosi, Springfield Twp., U.S. Navy, Universal York, World War I, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Twentieth century poet Lee Anderson called York County home

York Haven extolled for industry

We have the worldwide paper company Glatfelter based in York today, with one of its mills, very much expanded, operating in Spring Grove, where it all started. Even though now gone, there were many other local paper mills, both large and small, operating at various periods during the county’s history.

We don’t think of York Haven as a hot bed of industry these days, but it was quite busy over a century ago, when transportation of products could be easily done via the Northern Central Railway, later the Pennsylvania Railroad. For example, here is a report on the York Haven paper mill, written by a correspondent for the Harrisburg Call and picked up by the York Gazette on July 2, 1887: Continue reading

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More on Dr. Reed’s 1905 visit to Camp Security

My previous post shared a July 21, 1905 article from the York Daily about Dr. Reed of Lancaster coming to look for the camp where his grandfather guarded Revolutionary War prisoners. We know the site today as Camp Security.

Dr. Reed’s visit must have been important in the news of the day, as I found a similar account of it in the July 21, 1905 York Gazette. This article adds a bit more information, and I thought it would also be worthwhile to transcribe the Gazette article to show how two articles written at the same time on the same event can differ. For example, in the first article Reed describes his grandfather as a ferry operator and as a mill owner in the other, mentioning the Shenk’s Ferry area in both. One of the two or more ferries in that area was known as Reed’s. It crossed over the Susquehanna from above the mouth to Otter Creek to Pequea. But he might have also had a mill, so perhaps one writer picked up on the ferry and another on the mill.

Here is the Gazette article, followed by a few more comments: Continue reading

Posted in 1770s, 1780s, 1800s, 1860s, 1880s, 1900s, Camp Security, Chanceford Twp., Civil War, doctors, ferries, Hellam Twp., Lower Chanceford Twp., military units, Militia, prisoners, Revolutionary War, soldiers, Springettsbury Twp., Susquehanna River, Universal York, Virginia, Windsor Township, York County, York Furnace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on More on Dr. Reed’s 1905 visit to Camp Security