Epic auto races sell newspapers in 1908

A York-built Pullman 4-40 Gentleman’s Roadster raced a Studebaker in an auto race lasting over two-weeks in March of 1908 from Philadelphia to Savannah, Georgia. This photo, submitted by Paul Vaughn, shows the Pullman at the starting point; outside the Quaker City Motor Club, located in the Hotel Walton in Philadelphia. Continue reading for more on that race, following a little background.

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The Philadelphia to Savannah race transpired largely due to the early success of an ambitious 24-week long auto race already underway. Newspaper readership was up. Readers flocked to the ongoing adventures involving lengthy cross-country auto races.

In 1908 an automobile race was held; epic even to this day. Cars raced from New York City, traveling westward, to Paris, France; covering almost 22,000-miles. The race was the brainchild of two newspapers; the French newspaper Le Matin and the New York Times.

Six automobiles from four countries started the race from Times Square on February 12, 1908. The grueling race contended with mud, ice, snow and many times no roads at all. The only American entry, a Thomas Flyer, is shown in the following Library of Congress photo; as it passes through Cheyenne, Wyoming. It took 6-weeks, for the leading Thomas Flyer, to reach the west coast. The idea of the race organizers was to travel to Alaska and hope the Bering Strait was frozen for the cars to drive across it to Russia. All along the teams insisted that was impractical, but those were the rules set forth and the teams did their best to stick to them.

As the Thomas Flyer reached Alaska on April 8th, the Parisian race committee finally came to their senses and abandoned the Bearing Strait plan; instead they allowed cars to be shipped across the Pacific Ocean from Seattle to Vladivostok, Russia. This decision temporarily deprived the Thomas Flyer of its race lead, because they had to backtrack a greatest distance, whereas the other cars were much closer to Seattle.

Once each car arrived on Russian soil, the race got even tougher; traveling across the Siberian expanse to Europe was exceedingly harsh. Ultimately, it was the Thomas Flyer arriving in Paris on July 30th to win the race. Throughout the 24-week race, ongoing interest by the public increased newspaper circulation; just as Le Matin and the New York Times had planned.

Several weeks into the New York to Paris race, The Philadelphia Inquirer suggested a race from Philadelphia to Savannah where the new Savannah road-racing track was scheduled to open later in March. The Inquirer asked A. J. King, the local branch manager for Studebaker to issue a challenge.

It did not take long for Paul F. Gillette, of Newark, New Jersey, and agent for Pullman to accept the challenge. Earlier newspaper articles suggest bad blood existed between these automakers. The dispute started when Studebaker achieved a perfect score in an automotive competition. Several competitors, and most vocally Pullman, convinced the judges that Studebaker did not deserve a perfect score. The competition was redone under greater scrutiny by the judges; resulting in Studebaker no longer having a perfect score, however Pullman maintained their perfect score. Shortly after that incident, Studebaker did not respond when Pullman issued a match race challenge specifically to Studebaker. Evidently The Philadelphia Inquirer knew of this rivalry and thus approached A. J. King first; thinking a Pullman versus Studebaker match race would add to the race drama.

The Philadelphia Inquirer issue of March 5, 1908, contained the following photo of the Pullman and Studebaker Cars prior to the start of the race at 8:30 A.M. on Wednesday March 4th. Quoting the first two paragraphs of the accompanying article:

“The Pullman roadster and the Studebaker touring car started yesterday in the race to Savannah. The start was made from the headquarters of the Quaker City Motor Club, at the Hotel Walton, at 8:30 o’clock.”

“The Pullman was driven by R. L. [Bob] Morton, while Frank Yerger sat at the wheel of the Studebaker. With Morton rode P. F. [Paul] Gillette, of Newark, N. J., owner of the car, and G. W. [George] Daley, their observer. Accompanying Yerger were his brother Robert and J. W. Boyd. The latter will officially record the movements of the car.”

The day before the race, rules and route of the race were still being modified and were not finalized until the evening prior to the start of the race; run under the auspices of the Quaker City Motor Club. The official race route between Philadelphia and Portsmouth, Virginia follows: Philadelphia to Downingtown, Coatesville, Lancaster, Columbia, York, Abbottstown, Gettysburg, Frederick Md., Rockville, Washington D.C., Alexandria Va., Centerville, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Manchester, Petersburg, Suffolk and Portsmouth; with a total mileage being 426 miles to that point.

As the race started, the Richmond Automobile Club was still selecting the remaining part of the race route, from Virginia to Georgia. The racing cars would receive the final southern route upon their arrival at the Virginia capital. An overall race distance of 1,100-miles was anticipated.

In coming weeks, I’ll utilize a combination of newspaper articles, from Philadelphia, from York, from Savannah, from newspapers along the race route and from newspapers around the country; even as far west as the Los Angeles Herald, which reported on this race. A ‘Philadelphia to Savannah’ series of blog posts will share the ongoing adventures in the race to Savannah over the dirt (and mud) roads that dominated town-to-town travel in 1908.

Within the yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Dutch Emig as drawn by J. Horace Rudy

Dutch Emig posed for a stained glass window installed at the Heinz Office Building in Pittsburgh. J. Horace Rudy’s sketch of Emigsville’s Howard A. Emig is from the Records of Rudy Brothers Company, MSP#278, Folder 15, in the Library and Archives Division, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania; within the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Howard Emig was known as Dutch Emig throughout his college days in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; Class of 1908. This sketch was likely made during that time period. Dutch is the youngest brother of Marian (Emig) Rudy, the wife of J. Horace Rudy.

Related Manchester Township Historical Society meeting notice: Terrence Downs will be sharing the story of Marian Emig and J. Horace Rudy at the Emig Mansion in Emigsville on Monday June 18, 2018 at 7:00PM.

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J. Horace Rudy drew the following Stained Glass Window for the H. J. Heinz Office Building. Dutch, as the farmer, represents the fresh produce processed by Heinz and the woman, by his side, represents Heinz’s knowledge in preserving that produce. The library personnel had often seen this theme described in fixtures adorning Heinz properties. Coincidently Howard “Dutch” Emig was the last Emig owner of the Emig Homestead Farm at Emigsville.

As I went through the Rudy Brothers file, nothing initially caught my attention about this sketch until I turned it over. On the back was the notation: “Howard Emig Posed. Heinz Office Bldg.” I kind of remembered Howard somewhere in the Emig family tree, and did confirm he was a brother of Marian (Emig) Rudy via Census records, and thus a brother-in-law of J. Horace Rudy.

Howard Abraham Emig was born March 2, 1888, in Emigsville, PA. He was educated at the York Collegiate Institute before entering the freshman class at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 1904. An Ancestry.com scanned copy of his Class of 1908 Yearbook at the University of Pennsylvania appears to be from a Xerox copy; since most photos are not the best. The following is Dutch Emig’s yearbook photo and his activities at Penn.

Dutch Emig is noted numerous times throughout the yearbook; within all the activities he was involved with and at other places. Such as the “Who” section, where the class voted on various questions. Quoting two of the questions and results on page 289:

“Who in 1908 has done the most for the university? How? Bob Folwell’s great work in track and wrestling and as football captain secured him first. Dutch Emig, twice captain of the Varsity Crew, was second.”

“Who is the handsomest? Dutch Emig’s manly grace placed him far in the lead. Ed Greene, Paul Killiam, Joe Townsend, John deHamel and Ralph Waite finished in a bunch, and it was adjudged a dead heat for second.”

It was front-page news in The York Daily on December 6, 1906; with the headline “York Boy Is Elected Captain of U. P. Crew.” Quoting the entire article:

“Howard A. Emig, of 619 Linden Avenue, this city, was yesterday elected captain of the University of Pennsylvania Crew for 1907.”

“Last year he was stroke on the crew and participated in all of the races displaying strength and form equal to that of the other members. He is a member of the class of 1908 of the university, and received his preparatory education at the York Collegiate Institute. While at the local institution he was popular among the students, but was not considered an athlete of unusual ability.”

“When Emig entered the University of Pennsylvania, however, his powerful build was noticed by the crew coaches and Emig began to train for this sport, developing rapidly. He made the freshman crew and last year his work was considered of sufficient merit that he was given a place at stroke on the varsity.”

“Howard A. Emig is 20 years old and is the first York athlete to have the captaincy of a college crew conferred upon him.”

Dutch Emig was Captain of the Varsity Crew both his Junior and Senior year. This is a photo of the Penn Boat Club House on the Schuylkill River during 1908.

The 1922 Directory of University of Pennsylvania Alumni list the following for Dutch Emig in the years immediately following his graduation, with his service during World War I:

“HOWARD A. EMIG, b. Mar. 2, 1888; B. S. in Econ., 1908; Delta Kappa Epsilon; Sphinx; Phi 08; stroke of crew, 1906-08; cane man; football (1); Municipal Bonds; mgr. Chicago Office for Prudden & Co.; enlisted Signal Corps, U.S.A., Dec. 6, 1917; promoted to 2d Lieut. June, 1918, and to 1st Lieut. Air Service Production in Sept. 1918; mem. University Club of Chicago. 108 S. LaSalle St. and 515 Belmont Ave., Chicago, Ill.”

Howard Abraham Emig married Emile Weller in Chicago on Sepetmber 15, 1917. Howard’s whole career was in brokerage, investment and banking businesses in the Chicago area. All the while Howard continued to own the 143-acre Emig Homestead Farm at Emigsville; having it operated by tenant farmers. As an example, during 1954, the crops included: wheat, corn, barley, potatoes, tobacco, and hay.

Howard inherited that farm from his mother, Fanny M. Emig, upon her death February 7, 1910; and owned it until August 1, 1962. More about the Emig Homestead Farm will be in a future post.

Howard A. Emig died at the age of 84, on October 22, 1972, in Lake Forest Hospital, Lake Forest, Illinois. He was survived by his widow, Mrs. Emile Weller Emig, and a number of nephews and nieces, including locally Mrs. Charles E. Snyder, 514 Linden Ave., York, and Mrs. Emerson Tower, Spring Grove.

Within the yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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York Gas Works expansion during World War I

Barton Associates utilizes the end view of the impressive 3-story Gas Works building as their logo. That structure, at the right side of this photo, was constructed during World War I. It was built during the last major expansion of York’s gas manufacturing plant; occurring over a decade prior to the local arrival of natural gas.

The 1885 brick building, at the left side of this photo, was featured in a previous post about Barton Associates celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year; having been established in 1968 as Consulting Engineers. “We Make Buildings Work” is the slogan of this firm involved in: Mechanical Design, Electrical Design, Plumbing Design, Fire Protection Design, Energy Analysis, and Commissioning of those building systems.

The photo is a view of the east side of the York Gas Works buildings, which now houses Barton Associates offices as the North Building of Susquehanna Commerce Center, 221 West Philadelphia Street, York, PA. In 2000, Barton Associates purchased the abandoned Gas Works site and spent $2 million rehabilitating buildings, on the site, constructed from the late 19th to early 20th century. They received a Preservation Pennsylvania award, in 2003, for transforming the former York Gas Works into their offices.

Starting in 1885, the York Gas Works, at this site, produced manufactured gas; which is not to be confused with natural gas; the primary fuel gas in use today. The 1885 “modern” plant produced gas from coal, oil and water; using a process patented in 1873, by Professor Thaddeus Lowe of Norristown, Pennsylvania. His technological advancement enriched a form of coal gas, to produce what was known as water gas; which burned with a blue flame. The improved Lowe Process manufactured gaseous fuel raised the thermal content of the gas up to 350 Btu per cubic foot, and was the dominant process used to manufacture gas across the nation when America entered World War I.

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The Gas Industry trade publication of June 1923 contained articles highlighting examples of all the gas plant expansions, across the country, occurring during World War I. In that issue, York got a shout-out with one line: “The York Gas Works completed a new three story Gas Purifying House not long after the Armistice;” i.e. circa 1918.

I use the following 1924 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map segment to illustrate the buildings of the York Gas Works near that time. On the map, I show the viewpoint of the photo, at the beginning of this post. The “Purifying House” in the north end of the complex of buildings is the only 3-story structure; as indicated by “3” in the upper right corner of the building outline.

This Sanborn map, in the collections of the York County History Center, contains paste-on updates. Following the publication of the 1908 Sanborn Map, rather than produce new map books every few years, Sanborn supplied paste-on updates. The precise alignment of paste-on sheets depended on how careful the updater applied the, often, irregular-shaped updates. A paste-on was made available, for application, only if a significant change occurred since the previous update.

In the Gas Works area there are at least three up-date layers pasted over the base 1908 Sanborn Map. The updates to this particular Sanborn Map occurred: July 1912, May 1916, May 1920, October 1922, April 1923, July 1924 and December 1924. After which time, no more updates were applied to this “1908 updated to 1924” Sanborn Map.

The York County History Center also has a “1908 updated to 1932” Sanborn Map. That map segment, containing the York Gas Works, follows.

Recall from the previous post about the York Gas Works, the October 29, 1885, issue of The York Daily contained an excellent article explaining the process the plant used to manufacture gas. Quoting the sentences related to the purifying process: “From here the gas passes to the other end of the building to a large room occupied by four purifying boxes, which are fitted with lime and other purifying materials. From this it passes back to the meter where the quantity is measured and thence to the holder for storage.”

I’ve indicated a 1931 aerial photo viewpoint on the 1932 Sanborn Map. That aerial view is a southeast view of the York Gas Works on September 25, 1931. It is from the referenced J. Victor Dallin Aerial Photo in the collections of Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware. Selected features on the aerial photo are annotated, including the circa 1918 3-story Gas Works Building.

In 1930, the Manufacturers’ Light and Heat Company of Pittsburgh extended their natural gas lines to the York area. Natural gas burned much cleaner than manufactured gas and raised the thermal content of the gas up to 1,050 Btu per cubic foot. For a number of years, both natural gas and manufactured gas was used locally. The Gas Works buildings eventually were relegated to function as Gas Company maintenance buildings, after sufficient pipelines were built across the country to carry natural gas to local customers.

Within the yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to posts related to Early York Utility Companies:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Prominent York jeweler started in Red Lion

Shaffner’s was the jeweler to go to in York County from the 1930s thru the 1970s. Kathy made that statement while I helped with her family history research at the York County History Center. In turn, she shared Shaffner’s insight used in this post.

Kathy considered Shaffner’s so important to her family story; she had done research on that jeweler. Three generations of her family bought their wedding rings there; all personally sold to them by the owner Charles H. Shaffner.

The introductory photo shows the first block of the south side of East Market Street in York, near Christmas in the early 1950s. Charles H. Shaffner’s establishment was located at 6 East Market Street from 1940 until 1964; which is where Kathy’s parents and all of her aunts and uncles bought their wedding rings.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the three original photos in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photos, or if any has been removed from the ydr.com site.

I’ve focused in on the Charles H. Shaffner store at 6 East Market Street in the above photo. His store was next to Newswagers Shoe Store, which was on the square. To the east side of Shaffner’s was Martha Washington Candies at 8 East Market Street. In 1964, Shaffner’s moved across the street, as a result of the bank expansion toward the square. Later in this post I’ll look at that third business location in York, at 9 East Market Street, and at the Shaffner’s stores in the Malls.

Charles H. Shaffner was born near Elizabethtown in Lancaster County. He graduated from Bowman Technical School and apprenticed to a jeweler in Philadelphia. After which he served as a master watchmaker at Hamilton Watch Company in Lancaster.

Charles married Mary Kathryn Reinhold and they had two children: Donald and Jerry. In the late 1920s, Charles H. Shaffner established his own business at 64 North Main Street in Red Lion. The family lived next door at 62 North Main Street. Kathy’s grandparents bought their wedding rings at that store.

I verified the Red Lion connection via 1930 Census records and via a C. H. Shaffner ad, on page 132 of the 1930 Red Lion Golden Jubilee souvenir book, noting his business, at 64 North Main Street includes: diamonds, clocks, watches and silverware. The Red Lion store was sold in 1932 when the family moved to downtown York.

In 1934, the initial Shaffner’s store location in York opened at 33 West Market Street. The York store offered an expanded selection of timepieces, diamonds and jewelry. It was one of the first stores in York to offer a Brides Registry. In 1940 the store moved to 6 East Market Street.

Kathy stated Shaffner’s was much more than a jeweler and watchmaker. Thru generations, it was where her family purchased silverware, fine crystal and fine china. Some of the brands being: sterling silver manufactured by Gorham, and Reed & Barton; crystal produced by Duncan & Miller; and china manufactured by Wedgewood and Theodore Haviland. Watch sales and watch repair was a major part of the business. Brands handled included: Hamilton, Bulova, Longines, Elgin, and Jules Jurgensen.

In 1964, Shaffner’s moved into their biggest store, to date, at 9 East Market Street. At the time, the six-story building was known as the Small Building. Shaffner’s entrance doors and display windows covered much of the width of the building. The door at the east side of the building, 11 East Market Street, led to the offices in the upper floors. See the following, circa 1970, photo of the building.

In 1969, Charles H. Shaffner was the major investor in a group purchasing the Small Building. Likely that is when the storefront, shown in the photo, was applied on the first two floors. In the deeds for this purchase, the building name was changed to Eleventh Building.

When Charles H. Shaffner expanded into the Malls, he did not close the store in downtown York. Shaffner’s at the York Mall opened in 1968. Shaffner’s at the North Mall opened in 1969. There was also a Shaffner’s at the North Hanover Mall.

When it came time for Kathy and her husband to purchase their wedding rings in 1972, they got insight that Charles H. Shaffner had decided to retire; he was in his seventies. He wanted his son Donald, already heavily involved in running the business, to invest in and take over the business. However instead, Donald Shaffner chose to start his own jewelry business, from scratch, in Florida.

In 1973, Charles H. Shaffner had their going out of business sales, and closed all their jewelry stores. The North Mall store had a bridal store attached, which was bought by several employees who continued to operate it.

The downtown store at 9 East Market Street, sat vacant for a short time, before it opened on July 25, 1974 as Goodwill Industries retail store. In time, the Eleventh Building was purchased for another facelift; at which time the top three floors were removed. Leaving the three-story Rich Executive Building standing at the site today.

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to posts of a few other downtown York businesses:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Choice of I-83 or Route 30 Traffic Jam

Brown’s Orchards and Farm Market offers a choice of I-83 or Route 30 Traffic Jam. When in your vehicle, choosing your least favorite bottleneck traffic jam may be difficult. It is equally as difficult to choose which of Brown’s jams taste the best. They’re all so good.

Is this the start of another York County food preference battle; such as Martin’s or Utz potato chips?

The fruit blend in the I-83 Traffic Jam contains peaches, strawberries, cherries, red raspberries and cranberries. That version has been sold for several months at Brown’s. The Route 30 Traffic Jam is the newer version; with a fruit blend containing peaches, cranberries and pineapple. They are both available at Brown’s; on the hill in Loganville.

I took the photo of the jam jars on the back of my car. It might have been more appropriate to take such a photo while in a traffic jam. Where is a traffic jam when you need one?

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the original photo in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photo, or if it has been removed from the ydr.com site.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Robotics now; Northwest Triangle was once Coal and Tobacco

Coal yards and wholesale leaf tobacco once covered most of the Northwest Triangle’s recently announced Innovation District. York Exponential, a robotics firm, is the driving force behind this project.

This view, from the intersection of North Beaver Street and North Street in York, looks west at a planned building in the Innovation District. The Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects rendering shows North Street heading west between two buildings, connected by a multi-story enclosed bridge.

The following 1893 photo, from the collections of the York County History Center, is a view from near the same intersection; also looking west. The photo shows the wholesale leaf tobacco warehouse, which once stood on the southwest corner of North Beaver Street and North Street; on the spot of the left structure, in the rendering of the planned building.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the five original photos/illustrations in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photos/illustrations, or if any has been removed from the ydr.com site.

Myers, Adams & Company imported leaf tobacco into this warehouse and sold it to many of the cigar factories operating in York County. This was one of four cigar related businesses in which Edwin B. Myers was involved. Edwin extensively modified a Springettsbury Township farmhouse in 1901, creating the Meadowbrook Mansion as a summer retreat on his rural estate, covering 458-acres. That mansion still stands, now housing Christmas Tree Hill along Whiteford Road, across from the Galleria Mall.

I’ve used blue shading to highlight Myers cigar factory, at 209 North Beaver Street, in the lower right of the following section of the 1903 Atlas of York, PA by Fred’k B. Roe. In the upper part, along North Street, the leaf tobacco warehouse is also shaded blue.

From the outset of rail service to York in 1838, the Innovation District section of the Northwest Triangle was first and foremost where a host of coal dealers set-up their coal yards. The following section of a 1908 Sanborn First Insurance Map points out the locations of four coal yard operations that existed in 1908; those of: Western Maryland Railway, Smyser & Senft, Geo. A. Barnitz, and L. E. Smyser & Son.

The view of the following 1931 aerial photo is to the southeast. It shows a section of the Northwest Triangle at the bottom of the photo. For easier orientation, I’ve annotated the location of several streets. I’ve also pointed out location of the leaf tobacco warehouse, coal yard remains, and Variety Iron Works; which has been repurposed as York Academy Charter School.

My older Aunts and Uncles, who grew up in the city, always talked about the big beautiful weeping willow trees that lined the banks of the Codorus Creek. The Codorus is definitely lined with massive trees in this 1931 photo. They claimed walking creek-side trails was like being out in the countryside. Of course that was before the 1933 flood, which uprooted many of the trees. The remaining trees were taken down a few years later when the Army Corps of Engineers put in the embankments.

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Related links include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Jeep tractor of a Jacobus Jeep farmer

Dick Myers inquired about a Jeep tractor used by an uncle during his truck farming days near Jacobus. Dick’s query follows:

“I saw your Jeep articles and wondered if you ever came across Jeeps used as farm tractors. Fresh out of the army, my uncle Lew bought a small farm near Jacobus where I grew up. Not long after starting school, I was allowed to walk to his farm. My uncle rigged a Jeep to plow the fields. I brag to friends uncle Lew invented the Jeep tractor. I realize Lew was not alone when a friend sent me this photo. The differences: Lew would never paint his Jeep yellow and Lew always used the spare tire on the plow. Lew had a set route through York neighborhoods as he peddled his produce in the back of that Jeep. He was a truck farmer, or a better term, a Jeep farmer. How widespread were these plow attachments on Jeep tractors?”

In searching farming magazines from the early 1950s, the farm Jeep, with plow attachment, was widely advertised. I liked the following 1953 Farm Journal ad because it shows the spare tire on the plow; just as Lew used it.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the three original photos/illustrations in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photos/illustrations, or if any has been removed from the ydr.com site.

The farm Jeep shows up in York newspaper ads as early as 1947. W. F. Grove Auto Company was the York area dealer. W. F. Grove was headquartered at 239-245 East Philadelphia Street in York, although he had distributors around York County. In 1947, those distributors were Fawn Grove Service Station, Cooper’s Garage in Hanover, Sweeney’s Motors in Stewartstown, and Quaker Race Garage in Wellsville.

The W. F. Grove building in York, at 239-245 East Philadelphia Street, still stands; most recently housing Geo’s Auto Repairs. The W. F. Grove Auto Company ad, for the Jeep as a farm vehicle, appearing in the November 15, 1947 issue of The Gazette and Daily, follows:

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to related Jeep posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Funeral of George A. Wood of York following WWI

The funeral cortege of WWI veteran George Wood was escorted by fellow comrades as the caisson proceeded to the Catholic Cemetery in Violet Hill, just south of York, PA. This is part 2 of the post: African-American George A. Wood killed in WWI.

The portrait of George A. Wood is from page 106 of the book “York County and the World War 1914-1919” by Clifford J. Hall and John P. Lehn; a book which uses the incorrect surname spelling. “Woods” shows up every now and then, however “Wood” is the surname spelling used by family members of that time and in military records. On the June 5, 1917 draft registration card for George, he signs his name “George A. Wood.”

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the original photo in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the photo, or if it has been removed from the ydr.com site.

PFC George A. Wood died September 29, 1918; with his body temporally interred near the French battleground, where he was killed in action. By the Armistice of November 11, 1918, there were over 76,000 United States soldiers buried in temporary battlefield graves. No remains of fallen WWI soldiers were returned to America until well after the war ended.

General Pershing argued that burying servicemen in, soon to be constructed, permanent American cemeteries, near the battlefields with their fallen comrades, offered the greater glory. Most Americans were not in agreement with such a plan; finally it was agreed to leave the decision up to the each individual fallen soldiers’ next of kin.

Nationwide, beginning in 1921, the remains of roughly 60% of the fallen WWI soldiers were returned to the United States. The number was higher in York County, with the remains of 78% of the fallen soldiers returned to this country for burial near their hometowns.

During the weekend George A. Wood was laid to rest in Saint Mary’s and Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, the funerals take place over the remains of two other York County veterans, returned from France; Stewart Krider and William Myers.

The Monday August 8, 1921 issue of The Gazette and Daily reported on the Saturday August 6, 1921, funeral of George A. Wood. Quoting the entire article:

“Services over the body of Private George Wood, son of Mrs. Anna Adams, 434 Susquehanna Avenue, were held Saturday morning in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Borne on a caisson, provided by the local post of the American Legion, and guarded by comrades who served with Wood in the 368th field artillery, the flag draped and flower covered casket was taken from the undertaking establishment of W. J. Boll & Co., 252 South George Street, at 8:30 o’clock. The funeral cortege proceeded to St. Patrick’s Church, where a high mass of requiem was conducted at 9 o’clock by the assistant pastor, Rev. Richard N. McLaughlin. After the services the body was taken to St. Patrick’s Cemetery where interment was made.”

“Private Wood was killed in action September 29, 1918.”

“The pallbearers were Harmon Banks, James Smith, B. Jones and Roy Brown. York Post, No. 127, American Legion, and White Rose Post, Foreign War Veterans, furnished the firing squad, which consisted of Harry Swartz, Luther Hildebrand, John L. Craver, Spurgeon Hovis, Paul Rutter, Vane Laumaster, Francis Hoofnagle and Harry Heiland, the latter in charge.”

In response to queries from readers, that wanted to place flowers on Memorial Day, the grave of George A. Wood is presently not marked. I’m working with the cemetery manager to locate Wood’s burial site and to understand what happened to the marker or gravestone, that once stood over the grave of George A. Wood.

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to related WWI posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Businesses, Family Histories, Memorials, Pennsylvania, Roads, WWI, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Funeral of George A. Wood of York following WWI

Barton Associates repurposed 1885 York Gas Works

Barton Associates celebrates their 50th Anniversary this year, having been established in 1968 as Consulting Engineers. “We Make Buildings Work” is the slogan of this firm involved in: Mechanical Design, Electrical Design, Plumbing Design, Fire Protection Design, Energy Analysis, and Commissioning of those building systems.

Barton Associates is a good steward of repurposing historic structures. The photo shows the 1885 York Gas Works building, which now houses the oldest part of Barton Associates offices as the North Building of Susquehanna Commerce Center, 221 West Philadelphia Street, York, PA.

In 2000, Barton Associates purchased the abandoned Gas Works site and spent $2 million rehabilitating buildings, on the site, constructed from the late 19th to early 20th century. They received a Preservation Pennsylvania award, in 2003, for transforming the former York Gas Works into their offices.

In York Gas Works expansion during World War I, I’ll look at other buildings in the Barton Associates complex. This post explores the history of the first building, completed by the York Gas Company, on this site in 1885.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the four original photos/illustrations in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of photos/illustrations, or if they have been removed from the ydr.com site.

The York Gas Company was organized in 1849 to manufacture and distribute gas. The firm gave its name to a York street, since its first Gas Works were on the south side of an alley; that came to be called Gas Alley. That alley is now Gas Avenue; located one-half block north of Philadelphia Street.

The first York Gas Works extended from approximately 30 to 44 East Gas Avenue; on a site that is now a parking lot. The Gas Company was contracted to furnish gas to the Borough of York for street lighting. Commercial and residential customers only utilized their manufactured gas for lighting purposes.

In the 1870s and 1880s, communities with adequate supplies of gas increasingly sold their excess gas to customers with parlor heaters and gas ranges. The York Gas Company decided to build a bigger, modern gas works, in order to have adequate supplies to allow it to sell gas for purposes other than solely lighting.

The following 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows the layout of the “modern” 1885 Gas Works in York, PA. Their location is on the west side of the Codorus Creek at 211 Grant Street; and just north of the Northern Central Railway tracks. On the map, I’ve indicated the photo viewpoint of the Barton Associates building photo, at the beginning of this post.

When the ground was broken, in the spring of 1885, for the new Gas Works in York, Pa, it was emphasized this new plant would be fireproof and require 300,000 bricks to construct.

The October 29, 1885, issue of The York Daily contained an excellent piece about “The New Gas Works” on page 1. The article contains a detailed description of the plant and explains the new process the plant used to manufacture gas. Quoting the entire article:

“The new gas works of the York Gas Company, situated between Grant Street and the Codorus Creek, along the Shortline Railroad, for which ground was broken last spring, are now completed and, will in a few days, be in readiness to manufacture gas for the town.”

“The works are composed of the main building, oil house, coal house and a small building containing the governor for regulating the supply of gas. These buildings are made of brick and stone and are constructed in the best manner and of the best material, by York workmen, under the supervision of our townsman, Mr. Francis Bucher, mason. They are also protected from any floods or rush of water by the railroad embankment on the south. A siding runs into the grounds on which the coal and oil is brought in cars.”

“One of the reporters paid a visit to the works yesterday and was courteously received by Mr. F. H. Shelton, of Philadelphia, under whose supervision the works were erected. The main building was first entered. This building is 41 feet wide and 110 feet long, and is about three stories high. The boiler stack is 62 feet high and is built of brick.”

“At one end of the building is a room 25 feet wide and 29 feet long, which contains the generating apparatus proper. In the cellar of this room are the generators, which are simply two large upright shells of boiler iron. These are fitted with shaking grates, automatic bottoms and all appliances for convenience. In these shells the gas is first made. A deep bed of anthracite coal is made in these generators and the gas is formed by passing a jet of steam through the burning coals, and is so decomposed into original gas and leaves the generators at the top and enters the superheaters or fixing chambers. At the base of these it meets the oil which gives it the illuminating power.”

“These superheaters are filled with red hot fire brick, which simply serve to make the oil and steam gas into one fixed illuminating gas. It is now in the crude state and requires to be first scrubbed through a large upright shell filled with perforated iron plates. The gas is then condensed by passing through two shells filled with water from similar upright tubular boilers. From here the gas passes to the other end of the building to a large room occupied by four purifying boxes, which are fitted with lime and other purifying materials. From this it passes back to the meter where the quantity is measured and thence to the holder for storage.”

“Attached to the main room is the engine room wherein is a large engine which runs at the rapid rate of 450 revolutions a minute. Two pumps for pumping oil and a fan or blower for fanning the fires are also in the room. At the extreme end of the building is the boiler house, containing a boiler of 60 horse power, built by Mr. A. B. Farquhar, of York, and various pumps for supplying the building with water.”

“In other parts of the building are various rooms, such as the tool shop and meter room, which are fitted up with all conveniences. The latter room contains a very fine meter, made by the American Meter Company, of Philadelphia and New York. It weights several tons and will register up to hundreds of millions of feet. Adjoining this is the office of the efficient and energetic superintendent, Mr. J. L. Kuehn. The lime room, storage and tank rooms are also contained in this building.”

“On the grounds outside, the most noticeable thing is the new holder. This is 80 feet in diameter, 20 feet high, and will hold one hundred thousand cubic feet of gas, and which the apparatus in the building can fill twice a day. The holder was erected by Messrs. Deily & Fowler, of Philadelphia, and was put up by them in the short space of four weeks.”

“The coal house contains bins which are filled with coal from the [rail]cars. The coal bins, and the cellar of the main building, are connected by a tunnel; through which the coal is wheeled as needed. On the hill is a small house containing the governor which regulates the supply of gas to the town.”

“The gas is what is known as water gas. Its chief points of superiority over the old style coal gas, are the great cleanliness of making it, the saving in labor, the great rapidity with which it can be made, and under certain conditions much cheaper than the old gas, and particularly its capability in sending out rich or poor gas according to the amount of materials used.”

“The generating apparatus was erected by A. O. Granger & Company, of Philadelphia. The oil tank was made by Messrs. Frey, Motter & Company, and is enclosed in a brick building, thus protecting it in every manner. The oil, which is simply commercial naphtha, is taken from the oil tank on the car and, by simple gravity, into its tank.”

“The buildings are entirely fireproof; and even the floors are made of hard hollowed brick and laid in cement. The works in every particular appear to be of first-class design and workmanship throughout. They were erected under the supervision of Mr. F. H. Shelton, of Philadelphia, and are so arranged that a workman could almost sit in an arm chair and run the apparatus. The oil pipe to turn on the steam and oil, and the blast and even the engine and pumps, which are in another room are all operated from one spot.”

“Mr. D. J. Collins, of Philadelphia, is now engaged in making the tests preparatory to handing over the works to the gas company. The old works will be shut down in about a week and the new works will be put in operation.”

The following 1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows a few minor changes and additions have been made to the 1885 Gas Works after operating 23-years at the new site. Most of the major additions to this gas plant were initiated during and immediately after World War I.

Both of the Sanborn Maps indicate an underground archway existed between the Generator Room and the Coal Shed. I wonder if remnants of that archway still exist? If so, is the archway brickwork as impressive as the exterior brickwork?

The following photo shows the upper northwest corner’s 1885 brickwork in the original Gas Works building has been preserved to this day.

Within the yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Links to posts related to Early York Utility Companies:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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African-American George A. Wood killed in WWI

York County African-American veteran George A. Wood was killed in action September 29th 1918 during World War I. Private First-Class Wood is honored on the bronze memorial tablets flanking Gate 4 at the York Fairgrounds. His surname is incorrectly spelled “Woods” among the 197 York Countians honored on the World War I panels, fronting four columns, at the York County Administration Center, located at 28 East Market Street in York, PA.

The portrait of George A. Wood is from page 106 of the book “York County and the World War 1914-1919” by Clifford J. Hall and John P. Lehn; which also used the incorrect surname spelling. Later in this post, I draw upon an article about George on page 107, plus additional resources to chronicle his life and service. Those pages are within the section devoted to the York County patriots who gave their lives in national service during the World War.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the two original photos/documents in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of photos/documents, or if they have been removed from the ydr.com site.

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

The best way to start researching a WWI veteran is via pension details, of which copies of original documents are available on Ancestry.com. The following WWI Veterans Service & Compensation Record, for George A. Wood, is from a 1934 pension application approval for his widow Mrs. Mittie Wood; when she resided in Youngstown, Ohio.

George A. Wood, on this document, was born in Frederick, Maryland, and died September 29, 1918, of wounds received in action in Europe. Further family history research proved this is the record for the subject of this post; who lived most of his adult life in York and is buried in York County. He served overseas from June 15, 1918 until his death. Census, newspaper articles, vital and family history records; available at the York County History Center and on Ancestry.com, provide the early family history of George.

George A. Wood was born during June of 1890; as the son of George A. Wood, Sr. and Anna (Burke) Wood. For the first fifteen years of his life, the family lived in Frederick County, Maryland. By 1905, the family moved to York, PA and resides at 316 S. Howard Alley; with his father working as a machine operator.

In 1910, the U. S. Census records the family continuing to reside at 316 Howard Alley in York, PA. George is 20-years-old, working as a laborer, at an Ice Machine Company; most likely the York Manufacturing Company. His father, and brother James, also work for the same company.

The family lives at several locations during the next ten years: 420 S. Court Ave., 248 S. Park, 432 S. Court St., and 428 E. King St. When George is inducted into the Army, at York, on October 29, 1917, he is residing at 432 S. Court Street. It is possible, sometime between October 29, 1917 and June 15, 1918, while on leave, George married Mittie.

The 92nd Division included four African-American infantry regiments; the 365th, 366th, 367th and 368th. The enlisted personnel and junior officers were entirely African-American, while all regimental and divisional senior officers were white.

George A. Wood was a Private in the 368th Infantry Regiment and was promoted to Private First-Class on April 16, 1918. Within that regiment, George was in the 41st Machine Gun Battalion.

The 368th Infantry Regiment trained at camps throughout the Northeast and Midwest. After arriving in France, they received additional training under the command of the French Army. Their training was considered complete on August 12, 1918; at which time all African-American regiments of the 92nd Division were moved near the front lines; in the Vosges region.

The 368th Infantry Regiment saw their first action when they were assigned to the French 38th Corps; which had orders to attack the German line in the Binarville area on September 26, 1918. After four days of grueling battles, the French 38th Corps failed to achieve a breakthrough in the German line. It was from wounds received in that battle, George A. Wood lost his life.

The body of George A. Wood was temporally interred in France. Following the war, George’s mother had his body returned to York for final burial. The following is the link to part 2 of WWI veteran George A. Wood; providing details of that funeral and burial: Funeral of George A. Wood in York following WWI.

Links to related WWI posts:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Posted in all posts, Businesses, Family Histories, Manufacturing, Maryland, Memorials, Pennsylvania, Roads, WWI, York County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on African-American George A. Wood killed in WWI